NHL mock draft: How all-time greats fit 2018 needs

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images /
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Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images
Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images /

player. 85. . Defenseman. . Paul Coffey. 17

The New Jersey Devils have a number of talented forwards. They lack a true No. 1 center, but Nico Hischier should develop into a lower-tier one at worst. Taylor Hall gives them a superstar and the Devils also have a number of fast, quick wings. However, their defense needs an upgrade. What they really need is a right-handed defenseman. But most of the all-time greats are left-handed. So let’s give them one of the best blueliners ever in Paul Coffey.

Coffey would flourish in today’s NHL. He was always quick and mobile. Coffey’s stretch passes were a thing of beauty. A lot of great centers wanted him on their team and it’s easy to see why. Coffey won three Norris Trophies. Only Orr averaged more points per game during his career than him.

Paul Coffey would give the Devils a clear No. 1 defenseman. He’d also give them a bit of a unicorn in today’s NHL — a left-handed, puck-moving blueliner. It’s baffling how much the landscape has changed. Coffey proved he could play on his offside, so he could be on the right side and still be an extremely effective defenseman.

He would also serve as an excellent mentor for Will Butcher. Butcher will likely never be as good as Coffey, but they have similar playing styles. Being mentored by him could do wonders for the talented young defenseman.