On the surface, this looks like a terrible pick. I mean, the Devils have the goaltending position locked up for the foreseeable future. I know you don't always make draft selections based on need, but the Devils goaltending situation is the one aspect of the team most fans feel comfortable with. The collective forward depth in the organization is what we would call a goddamn cess pool, and that's putting it mildly.
That's why the only explanation for this pick is that new General Manager Ray Shero is trying to temper expectations. You don't start a new job and go in guns-a-blazing. It raises expectations too high. That goes from cubicle dwellers to professional GM's alike. Shit, if Ray Shero turned his first three picks into 2 forwards with a high ceiling and third forward that has already started to get closer to his potential then Devils fans would already be building him a statue outside Prudential Center after his first big weekend. There would be nowhere to go but down after that. You got to throw a 'what the fuck' draft pick in there to bring everyone back to reality. Make sure the fan base realizes you have flaws as well. You're not always going to be right, so sometimes you have to be intentionally wrong to remind people of that.
I don't want to hate on Mckenzie Blackwood too much. Hell, I don't even know what he looks like. He could come up to me and kick me in the dick and fuck my hypothetical girlfriend in front of me while I withered in pain and I still wouldn't be able to address him by his name. Plus, his measurables and skill set do fit what the modern NHL goaltender possesses. In fact, by the time he's 22 years old, Cory Schneider will be in his mid-30's. So maybe it's not the worst pick in the world....but it's safe to say it's far from the best.
At least the Devils were able to make up for it by picking another skilled, and more importantly, fast forward (Blake Speers) and a slick skating defenseman (Colton White) with a high amount of potential later in the day. Honestly, reading a scouting report on these guys is like trying to read brail. However, as long as I see 'fast' or 'quick' I assume it is a good pick. Hell, I would put a well trained monkey with no arms in the top 9 as long as he was under 30 and had above average acceleration.
Time for some highlights!!!