NJ.com- With nine total picks in the final six rounds of the 2016 NHL Draft, it was hard to imagine the Devils standing pat, and as expected, they made a move, picking up a player general manager Ray Shero originally brought to the NHL.
After making a pair of picks in the second and third rounds, the Devils moved their second third-round pick, 77th overall, to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for right wing Beau Bennett. Shero drafted Bennett when he served as GM for the Penguins.
On the surface do I like trading a 3rd round pick for a player whose injuries are less of concern and more of certainty? No, in most cases I would consider it poor resource management. This, however, isn't one of those cases. This is different. Partially because Beau Bennett is a former first round pick - that Ray Shero is VERY familiar with - that hasn't come anywhere close to maxing out on his potential, but mostly because the new regime has done a great job finagling his way into a wealth of draft picks. Let's just say that my opinion would be very different if the Devils - as of the last calendar year - hadn't focused on making trades like the one that moved them from 11th to 12th in first round and netted them another 3rd round pick. The ability of Ray Shero, in his short time with the organization, to collect assets without purging his roster of the small core of talent they have is what makes moves like this possible. It's a calculated risk that really doesn't leave the Devils with anything less than what they started draft day with.
I'd love to let the biased, subjective fan in me sit here and tell you that Beau Bennett health concerns are in the past and he is going to blossom into a productive player at a position of need. Unfortunately I can't do that, but the fact of the matter is that I don't have to. If it works out, he is a guy that is immediately more talented than damn near everyone currently in the bottom half of the Devils lineup. If it doesn't then the Devils wasted an excess draft pick. Either way, he's got an AWESOME name. There's nothing not to love about the direction the organization is heading in and hopefully this move is just the beginning of an eventful summer.