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Devils GM open to dealing 10th overall pick, eyes goaltending help this summer

Tom Fitzgerald Devils Tom Fitzgerald - The Canadian Press

New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is letting it be known that he's open to dealing the 10th overall pick in this month's NHL draft. 

"If we feel it helps us now and in the foreseeable future, then, yes, I'm listening," Fitzgerald told at the league scouting combine.

"I haven't gotten anything yet but the more I talk to teams, I say 'Listen, I'm open to moving No. 10, but it's going to have to be something (significant).'"

The Devils missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons this year while playing under head coach Lindy Ruff and later interim Travis Green. The team hired former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe last month on a four-year contract. 

Goaltending doomed the Devils for much of last season, with Fitzgerald electing to make major changes at the position at the trade deadline. Vitek Vanecek was traded to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for fellow netminder Kaapo Kahkonen after the Devils has also added Jake Allen in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.

Fitzgerald, who reportedly had interest in Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom before the deadline, is continuing to seek a further upgrade at the position. 

"I'm in the goalie market talking to teams, but there's a 'but' and the 'but' is how do we want to build our team?" Fitzgerald said. "We'd like to add up front, we'd like to add on the back end, so what are those pieces going to cost us. With the goaltending, what's that going to cost us?

"Does the No. 10 pick get you that type of player that you can add to the group. It's easy to say, 'Go get so-and-so and then you build from there.' But there are some guys who have different contracts so how are those players going to reprice at. There's a lot to it, but, yes, the focus is on finding that goaltender."

In total, five goaltenders saw starts for the Devils last season in Vanecek, Nico DawsAkira Schmid, Allen and Kahkonen. Only Allen, acquired in exchange for a conditional third-round draft pick, is under contract for next season at a cap hit of $1.925 million. Kahkonen is slated for unrestricted free agency, while Daws and Schmid can be qualified as restricted free agents.