As per his post-season media availability and as transcribed by Kayla Douglas of The Score, the New Jersey Devils think it’s time to stop making excuses and start competing for the playoffs. But to help them get there, GM Tom Fitzgerald says he’s open to trading the team’s first-round 2022 NHL draft pick, one that could be a lottery pick by this time next week.

Related: Laine to Sign Long-Term Deal With Columbus Blue Jackets

With the draft just two months away, Fitzgerald knows it’s time to make a decision on the short-term future of his club. In an effort to give a young, talented team as good a chance as possible to win right away, he has made it clear his team’s first-round selection could be in play. “I said this two drafts ago when we had the three first-round picks, I’m open to whatever can help our team improve,” Fitzgerald said Thursday, according to NHL.com’s Wes Crosby.

From the goaltending situation to upcoming free agents, GM Tom Fitzgerald covered it all in today’s presser. https://t.co/oKoq2zfi4v

— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) May 5, 2022

Fitzgerald added that if it means the franchise can bring in a player that will help impact the results that we are looking for, “absolutely.”

That pick could be a lottery selection as the Devils hold the fifth-best odds (8.5%) of landing the No. 1 selection at Tuesday’s 2022 draft lottery. It’s not clear if the Devils would still be open to moving that selection if they actually win the first-overall pick, but it’s more likely they would make their selection in the No. 1 spot. That player could play next season and help right away.

Among the types of players the Devils will keep an eye out for is a goaltender. “I’m not going to hide behind or tiptoe around it. We need another NHL goalie to challenge and be able to play lots of games. I don’t know who that is.”

Expect a Number of Offseason Changes

The Athletic’s Shayna Goldman believes Pavel Zacha is the most likely of their current roster to be traded in the offseason, but also adds that Damon Severson, Mackenzie Blackwood, P.K. Subban, Jimmy Vesey, Mason, Geertsen, Jon Gilles, and Andrew Hammond could all be on their way out as well.

The Devils have a good chunk of cap space available with 15 players under contract for next season. If they ship a couple of bodies out, they could be one the summer’s bigger spenders.

Next: JT Miller Wants to Sign With Canucks, Team Won’t Be Emotional

The post Devils Open to Trading First-Round 2022 Draft Choice appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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