Taylor Hall is a Ping Pong Ball Prophet, As it Turns Out No Devils' Win Was Meaningless in Helping Them Secure the #1 Pick
They did it. They fucking did it...with "it" of course meaning absolutely nothing other than throwing their chips on the table, holding their breath, and lucking into the type of earnings that leave you liable to run laps around the casino like a goddamn lunatic.
Taylor Hall let it ride on the black magic of whatever horseshoe he's got stuck up his ass...
Ray Shero flashed a grin that was suspiciously shit-eating in retrospect...
And every Devils' fan that thought their C- in Statistics could help them prognosticate the one-off probabilities of ping pong balls that have proven to be unpredictable, time and time again, now has to apologize for bitching and moaning about professional athletes playing with pride and...well...professionalism when they had nothing else to play for...
As for what this means for the franchise going forward. In the best way possible, It's impossible to measure what the impact of another young game-breaker whose ceiling is the sky will be. However, from their GM, to their Head Coach, to the player that serves as their Hart beat, just about every voice that currently carries weight in the Devils' organization was a day removed from speaking to an immediate need for more talent. Be it in the form of a freakishly fast and skilled American center or a big-bodied Finnish winger that lacks flaws, that talent has essentially already been acquired as early as April. The fact that is was acquired at a bargain basement rate that basically leaves the organization at an 8-way stop in terms of what avenue they want to explore in investing their embarrassment of assets is just another bonus.
My first instinct was to attempt to reach through the TV screen, give Jack Hughes' flowing hair a flip, and swaddle his baby face in a Devils' blankie. After all, dynamic depth down the middle is the type of foundation that can make up for other structural flaws in this era of the NHL. That said, whether they go with him or Kaapo Kakko is a debate for another day...if not every other rivalry-intensifying day between now and June 21st.
The important thing is that that decision is now up to an organization that desperately needed to give their star player what he made it clear he wanted in another reason or three to stay in New Jersey for the foreseeable future. Nothing is done until the ink dries, but - after winning yet another draft lottery - Ray Shero would have to conduct an apocalyptic train wreck of an offseason for it to end with Taylor Hall feeling anything other than optimistic about the direction of his team. That aspect shouldn't be lost in all this well-deserved Hughes' hype of Patrick Kane comparisons, for (more likely than not) his rookie is a huge one in determining the future of a franchise that would have every right to feel a bit too cocky at the craps table right about now.