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BLOG: Devils Interim GM Tom Fitzgerald Discusses Draft Lottery

Fitzgerald discusses what he expects to get with the seventh overall pick, what the franchise is focused on, and how they're preparing for the 2020 NHL Draft

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

Following the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, Devils Interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald discussed New Jersey receiving the seventh overall pick.

"It would have been great to add a top pick, but we're going to get a good pick," said Fitzgerald. "We're going to get a really good player at number seven. [It's] definitely deep in the top 10 and we know we're going to get an impact player."

Fitzgerald also reflected on the franchise's success in recent years and the excitement that surrounds waiting to hear the selection order.

Video: LOTTERY | Tom Fitzgerald

"We were lucky for our last three years, and that's part of this whole lottery. It's exciting. You know it's disappointing as well, because of the hopes and the excitement that it brings up the 'what-ifs,'" said Fitzgerald. "There's more that goes into building a championship team than just watching the lottery. We're really fortunate. We've won two out of those four [years] and we've had two pieces that we know that can deliver."

Fitzgerald was referring to having two top picks in Jack Hughes (2019) and Nico Hischier (2017).

For Fitzgerald and the Devils organization, their focus is to continue building a solid foundation of younger players that will go on to compete for the Stanley Cup.

"It's exciting because this will be the core," explained Fitzgerald, in regards to building the franchise's depth. "That's the idea, to build a young stable of forces that can grow together, and good teams always do that, so that's a goal. That's definitely a goal, watching these kids grow together and grow into champions."

When asked if he would trade any of the Devils draft picks, Fitzgerald explained the process he goes through when teams present offers.

"You just don't know until it happens. Can you say 'I want a young 22-year old defensemen who can log 28 minutes for that pick?' You can dream, but at the end of the day you go into the draft prepared to pick at that spot. And if something came your way you're all ears, you can press up a little bit more and get some traction on some sort of movement. But at the end of the day we're going into the draft thinking drafting and drafting young prospects."

On his appearance on the Devils Draft Lottery Show presented by New Jersey Lottery, Fitzgerald also discussed what the organization has focused on when it comes to preparing for the Draft and building their list.

"The process has been really throughout to be quite frank. Starting in March and getting right on video and setting deadlines for X amount of viewing for each prospect that we deem Top-15, Top-20. And we worked our way back from there and then we started to tentatively list build. It's an unfinished product right now," he said. "We have the time to polish it up, and really watch more live and watch more video and talk to more people to do due diligence."

"You just have to shift things back a couple months, a few months from what normalcy is, so that's our plan right now. It's to get back together through Zoom, watching more video, watching live performances, and then get together as a group."

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