Preview: Devils and the Trade Deadline

With the NHL Trade Deadline just around the corner, there is a lot of speculation and rumors about what players will be traded, and which teams will be buyers and or sellers. In the case of the New Jersey Devils, they will be sellers again unfortunately but not to the extent of years past. There is a scenario where they will look to add to the team but I’ll get into that in a bit. In this edition previewing the trade deadline, I’m going to take a look a what to expect from the Devils.

Needs

More draft picks/prospects/cap space- the New Jersey Devils over the past few seasons have been acquiring a lot of young talent through the draft and picking up draft picks through trades to help build up their farm system which was previously a disaster. Adding more draft picks and prospects would be a good thing as it can obviously provide youth to the team or the assists necessary to acquire already established high end talent. Cap space is a very valuable weapon to add talent too and the more cap space you have, the more high end players you can acquire. From my understanding, GM Tom Fitzgerald is looking to make another splash in the off-season just like last year when they went out and signed Dougie Hamilton.

Goalie- yet again, the goaltending has been a disaster as injuries have caused MacKenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier to miss a significant amount of time this season. At this point it doesn’t look like either one of those two will return. While Nico Daws has been a nice surprise, it’s yet to be seen if he’s an answer to the problem that ails this team as goaltending has caused them to lose a lot of games. I can see GM Tom Fitzgerald picking up a goaltender to help with the rest of the season and evaluate what the plan will be going forward in between the pipes in case Blackwood and Bernier still aren’t healthy.

Top Devils trade candidates

PK Subban- looks like PK Subban will be on his way out of Jersey after the trade deadline as it’s become public knowledge that he won’t be re-signed to a new contract by the Devils as they look to move on from his high salary and inconsistent play with the team. Subban despite all of this will be a hot commodity as right handed shooting defenseman with a very good shot like his are very valuable and who knows, maybe a team could get some better defensive play out of him. Considering the Devils will be retaining most of his salary on his expiring contract, it wouldn’t be a stretch if they were able to get a first or a second round pick for him and he can add to a team’s power play too.

Pavel Zacha- Zacha’s name has been coming up in trade rumors for quite a while now. If the Devils do decide to trade him, I expect them to get at least a first or second round pick and or maybe a pretty good prospect for him as he’s been really finding his game the past couple seasons and would be a nice addition to a team’s top six forwards and can even play center as well. There is a possibility they hang onto him as well. We’ll have to wait and see on this one as this is a not as sure of a thing to happen as it is with PK Subban on his way out.

Jimmy Vesey- it’s been nice to see him have a bounce back season as he had to work really hard to get back on an NHL roster with the Devils on a PTO (Professional Try Out) and he’s has been very valuable on the penalty kill and nice addition to the bottom six forward group. Vesey can occasionally play well in the top six forward group as well. I think they Devils could get potentially a fourth or fifth round pick here if they do deal Jimmy Vesey.

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