Checking in on conditional picks for the San Jose Sharks with 10 games to go

Mar 21, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72) shakes hands
Mar 21, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72) shakes hands / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
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New Jersey Devils second-round pick

This one is different from the Pittsburgh pick. New Jersey's pick is San Jose's to use no matter what, but it could get better. It would require the Devils to get to the Eastern Conference Finals, but if they were to progress two rounds in the playoffs, the pick would become the Devils' first-rounder. Now, for conference finalists, it would be one of the four latest picks in the round, but it's a nice idea.

For those keeping track at home, this pick is from the deal that sent Timo Meier to the Devils at last year's trade deadline. This was the same deal that let the Sharks acquire Shakir Muhamadullin, Nikita Okhotiuk, Fabian Zetterlund, and the pick that would be used on Quentin Musty, so it has already become a pretty fruitful trade for the Sharks, regardless of how this pick works out. If it becomes a good player, that would be great. If not, does it matter anymore?

New Jersey is in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but Eastern Conference finals seem unrealistic. With 11 games to go, New Jersey currently sits six points back of the playoff places. It's a long fight for the Devils, but they look set to miss the playoffs again. It would mean that the pick wouldn't move up to a first-round pick, but given what else came in this deal anyway, it doesn't matter right now.

If the Devils were to get into the playoffs, they'd have to compete with clubs like the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Boston Bruins. Those eastern powerhouses, like the Devils, will be difficult for a team on the fringes to overcome and progress deep enough to make the pick move up a round. Mike Grier will have to settle for the second round pick right now.