Though he has not ruled out the option, Devils general manager Ray Shero says he will "probably" hold on to the first overall pick in this year's NHL Draft, per NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale.
Shero has been getting calls from teams interested in trading for the No. 1 overall selection, but he isn't returning them.
"I've gotten calls asking if there's interest moving down and other calls where it's been more specific and it's something to think about," Shero said. "But I haven't called them back. The idea is we'll probably be picking, but we're open to a lot of things."
Shero is skeptical about trading his pick, but alludes to the fact that if it happened, it would have to favor the Devils greatly.
"What would it get me to trade the No. 1 pick outright?" Shero said. "I couldn't even tell you. It hasn't been done that much, but if we did do something like that it would be pretty apparent it was the right thing to do. You have to be ready for all different scenarios in moving up or down, and in this case down."
The Devils are projected to take either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier with their pick, who both played in the Canadian Hockey League last season. In addition to the Devils interviewing both at the NHL Scouting Combine, Shero took the trip to their homes, first at Patrick's in Winnipeg and Hischier's in Switzerland.
"They are both great players," Shero said. "Patrick went through injury this year, but everybody knows he's a heck of a players and he's going to be very good. Hischier is a Swiss center with good size and talent. For us, these are two centers, two real good players. We're going to get one heck of a player and, at this point, that's what this franchise needs."
As Shero mentioned, Patrick battled through injury last season, totaling 46 points in just 33 games. Hischier, on the other hand, played in 57 games and amassed 86 points to be named the CHL's top rookie.
Devils director of amateur scouting Paul Castron doesn't think one prospect has the edge over the other.
"I think Nico is a little better skate; they both are good defensively," Castron said. "Patrick has the size edge and both are so smart. It's all projection for us and we stress that in all our meetings. No matter what round we're picking, the guy that scores 90 points and the guy that scores 60 points must be looked at separately because there are a lot of factors that come into play."
The Devils have a total 11 picks in the June 23 Draft at the United Center in Chicago. Five of them are in the first three rounds.