When Taylor Hall took to the microphone as the New Jersey Devils season closed in April, Hall put his cards on the table.
"We're lacking some skill, we're lacking some talent," he said on April 9.
Fast forward nearly two months later, and more talent has certainly been injected into the Devils system - and we haven't reached Monday's Free Agency yet - and Hall has recognized general manager Ray Shero's efforts.
The 27-year-old Devils star was in Oakville, Ontario on Thursday for the 27th Annual NHLPA Golf Classic, raising money for the Boys & Girls Club of Kingston, his hometown. Hall was greeted by a throng of media who were curious to get his thoughts on the moves Shero pulled off over the draft weekend, all while picking up Jack Hughes with the first overall draft selection.
Of the addition of newly acquired defenseman P.K. Subban, Hall said: "I think [the addition of PK] adds to our talent level and the skill level of our team. As a player in the off-season, that's what you want to see. So, it's exciting."
Hall may have been one of the first to know about the deal, as before calling Central Registry to finalize the deal with the Predators, Shero conferred with his Hart Trophy winner before pulling the trigger.
"Ray called me the night before the trade and asked me my opinion," Hall added. "I told him I thought it would be a great addition on and off the ice. I'm really excited to play with him."
"I think that the power play, he's got such a big shot from back there," Hall said when asked about Subban's abilities. "I think him carrying the puck up the ice, he's a bit unpredictable with the breakouts and all that. With our power play last year, we struggled a little bit, we didn't really have the big point shot that can be a threat at times. I think PK is going to bring that. Whether he's playing on the
power play or playing against the other team's top lines, he's going to be a guy that makes everyone else's job on the ice easier. It's great. When Ray called me and put that thought out there, there was nothing but excitement."
Hall also chimed in about the number one pick in the draft, Jack Hughes, who Hall skated with last summer and also spent time in the gym with earlier this week.
"He's a guy that's super skilled, I think he's built for the way the NHL is playing, with how fast he is, with how he glides so effortlessly along the ice," Hall said. "Obviously, his skill level is second to none with his age group. Can't wait to see what he can do at the NHL level - there might be a bit of an adjustment period, there always is with 18-year old's but he's got the skill level to make up for that. Just seeing him today, he's super excited. He seemed like he had a great visit in New Jersey, not only with the hockey side of it but he seemed to really enjoy the area and all that it has to offer. That was great to hear."
With the NHL season just a couple months away, Hall is busy preparing for the 2019-20 season and anxious to get back in to the Devils locker room at Prudential Center to get things going.
"We're going to have more than a couple of new faces next year and it's important that we have a good start and all that stuff but just injecting some new blood into the team is going to be really good."