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NHL Draft

Devils getting interest for No. 1 pick of 2017 NHL Draft, GM says

Ray Shero has 'gotten a couple calls,' undecided on who to take if they keep top choice @NHLdotcom

The New Jersey Devils have teams interested in acquiring the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, general manager Ray Shero said Tuesday.

"I've gotten a couple calls the past week from teams just letting us know they'd be interested if we were to decide to trade it," Shero told the Devils website. "We even had one get a little more specific about what they'd be willing to offer, and that's helpful and a little more engaging. I'm open to anything right now, I guess, but my focus is picking the best player for our organization, and if there's something to think about, we'll definitely think about it, but that's not our focus right now."

If the Devils keep the pick, Shero said they have not decided who they will select at United Center in Chicago on June 23.

"There's some good options and good players to choose from," Shero said. "I wish we had picks one, two, three, four and five. They're all great kids and great players and we know we'll get a good one, but no, I don't know what we're going to do with that pick. But we're getting there."

New Jersey is expected to choose either center Nolan Patrick of Brandon of the Western Hockey League or center Nico Hischier of Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Patrick, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's rankings of North American skaters for the 2017 draft, had 205 points (92 goals, 113 assists) in 163 WHL games. He had 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 20 WHL playoff games to help Brandon reach the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Hischier, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's rankings of North American skaters, had 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 QMJHL games this season.

The Devils were awarded the No. 1 pick in the draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on April 29 despite the eighth-best odds.

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