Jersey's No. 1 Picks Battle for No. 1 Center
Nico Hischier was supposed to be the franchise's next big star when the Devils drafted him first overall in 2017, but just two years later, New Jersey found itself drafting another center with the top selection in Jack Hughes. These two talented pivots will battle it out for a first-line role, and by extension, the right to share the ice with star winger Taylor Hall. Despite holding that position for much of the past two seasons, Hischier only has a pedestrian 99 points in 151 games to show for it. Hughes needs to bulk up at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but his ceiling is much higher coming off a 112-point season in 50 games with the United States National Development Program. If Hughes looks even close to ready for it, expect the Devils to chase his upside and hand him the job.
McDavid, Draisaitl and Who?
This hole in Edmonton's lineup is becoming an annual staple of this article, as the organization's incompetence has left it unable to plug the important opening on the first line right wing. Leon Draisaitl – who's coming off a 50-goal season – should continue to flank Connor McDavid on one side, creating an amazing opportunity for the lucky forward who gets to join them on the other. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is an option, and while he's the clear-cut third-best forward on the Oilers' roster, removing RNH from the second-line center role will cut