The MAC prospect has some doubters thanks to inconsistencies and a need for development despite his work as a multi-year starter.

Elias: It was very close. At the end of the deadline, I was talking to them for most of the night. It all came down to part of the contract, part of the agreement — the no-trade [clause] — and that’s why it didn’t happen. I didn’t have any prior conversations with the Devils regarding my contract. I knew there wasn’t interest from them at that point. Not after the season, right away, or during the summer. There was nothing. The only thing I was told by the management is that there were going to be teams interested in me, and that they wanted to wish me good luck.

So with that, how do you prepare yourself? You feel like you’re definitely going somewhere else in the summer.

A far better prospect than Nick Chubb, his running mate at Georgia, Michel is a powerful, plant-and-go runner who can be the 2018 version of Alvin Kamara or Kareem Hunt: a running back for whom we look back and wonder how he slipped to the draft’s second day.

But his potential to play left tackle in the NFL is enough to make him a first-round prospect.

GM George McPhee’s long-term plan was derailed when his team turned out to be good right away. Since the Golden Knights are contenders now, we think they should stand pat — that includes holding on to James Neal, perhaps as their own rental.

If any team is poised to land Erik Karlsson, it’s probably Tampa Bay, which has the assets to pull off the move, if it so chooses. New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh (who is also expensive but totally worth it) would also separate this team from the pack, making Tampa Bay the strongest contender.

The Bruins need help on defense too, though they got some aid in the trade for Nick Holden. We’d love to see Boston get in on the McDonagh conversation. Jack Johnson could fit here as well.

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