After being held out of the lineup the last few games or so, the New Jersey Devils have finally traded top six winger Kyle Palmieri and center Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders in exchange for AJ Greer, Mason Jobst, 2021 1st round pick, and a conditional 2022 fourth round draft pick. After being unable to come to terms on a new contract extension after recently failed discussions, it became clear the Devils were going to trade Kyle Palmieri. What wasn’t clear was Travis Zajac being traded. Zajac had to waive his no trade clause in order for this deal to go through. Here is the announcement from the New Jersey Devils:
My thoughts on the trade:
After recently failed contract negotiations with Kyle Palmieri, it was very clear that the New Jersey Devils were going to trade him by the April 12th trade deadline. Obviously the Devils did the right thing here acquiring assets for a player who most likely isn’t coming back. What was a little surprising was Travis Zajac agreeing to waive his no trade clause. If you remember from last year, the Devils tried trading him at last year‘s trade deadline but wouldn’t waive his no trade clause. Obviously things changed in the past year. I think the idea of playing for the general manager who drafted him in Lou Lamoriello (former longtime GM of the New Jersey Devils) played a factor as well as playing on a playoff team in the tri-state area while not having to uproot his family was another. I also think Palmieri probably had a discussion with him and talked him into it. This is obviously a no-brainer as the Islanders are going to the Stanley Cup playoffs and are a contender to win it all. You would be an absolute fool to pass that opportunity up.
As far as what the Devils got in return, simply put they got more draft picks that will turn into more younger players for what GM Tom Fitzgerald is trying to build which is a young team that is built to one day win the Stanley Cup for the New Jersey Devils. The players they got are essentially spare AHL players for minor league depth. The main part of this trade was getting another first round pick which is obviously huge as the Devils are going to have another top ten pick in the draft this year. New Jersey needs to use their first round picks this year to add young, capable, and skilled NHL caliber defenseman. Last year focused on getting some more highly skilled forwards to help produce offense. Now is the time to start building up the defense. The defenses the Devils used to have featured hall of fame names like Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermeyer, and Mr. Devil Ken Daneyko. We will see if there are any more trades coming up by Monday for New Jersey but, I think this is the biggest and may be the last one that they make.