CHICAGO—The NHL stage belongs to Ray Shero and the New Jersey Devils.
Then it goes right back to George McPhee and the Vegas Golden Knights.
In the wake of Vegas' expansion draft, New Jersey is on the clock with the No. 1 pick of the amateur draft beginning tonight at the United Center.
The only other time the franchise had the first pick was in 1979, when the then-Colorado Rockies selected Rob Ramage.
“I think it's been exciting for our franchise, exciting time for our scouts,” said Shero, who was hired as New Jersey's general manager in May, 2015.
“In addition, obviously, to the first overall pick, we've got the nine other picks, which are going to be very important on Day 2,” he added.
After New Jersey makes its pick (Shero said the Devils know who they are going to take, but he was keeping that to himself for now), Philadelphia, Dallas, Colorado, and Vancouver round out the top five.
Then Vegas makes the first pick in franchise history.
The Golden Knights announced two more trades yesterday, running their total to 13 selections for this year's draft.
Vegas sent defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk and a 2018 seventh-round draft pick to Carolina for a second-round selection tomorrow.
It also shipped defenceman David Schlemko to Montreal for a fifth-round pick in 2019.
Forwards Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, Casey Mittelstadt, and Cody Glass, along with defencemen Cale Makar and Miro Heiskanen, are among the most coveted prospects.
Patrick, whose father, Steve, and uncle, James, both played in the NHL, held the top spot in the NHL Central Scouting Department's final rankings in April.