NHL Trade Deadline: Devils hoard assets
The New Jersey Devils had a semi-busy trade deadline, shipping off a few players for mostly future assets. The Devils are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 58 points. They’re 14 points out of a playoff spot and will not be seeing the postseason this year. Unfortunately a lot of their issues stem from the loss of Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, who has been out for a good chunk of the season. However, it’s also partially on the Devils’ front office because a team cannot solely rely on one player to create offense for them, regardless of how good they are.
The Devils made four moves, all of them being big names that have contributed to the team at some point. They pretty much started the flow of trades earlier in the month when they traded Brian Boyle to Nashville for a 2019 second round pick. They then dealt Ben Lovejoy to Dallas for a third round pick and Connor Carrick, Keith Kincaid to Columbus for a 2022 fifth round pick, and Marcus Johansson to the Bruins for a 2019 second round pick and a 2020 fourth round pick.
The Devils now have an array of picks for the next 3-4 years that they can use to rebuild their team or if they so choose trade those future assets for help now. The Devils have a lot of holes but do have a good young core. How good that core can be is disputed, but guys like Miles Wood, Nico Hischier and Blake Coleman could take the next step over the next few years.
What’s next for the Devils? Well they brought up a ton of kids from Binghamton, including Nathan Bastian who scored the first goal of his NHL career on Monday against Montreal. They’re constantly working to get better in what’s already a lost season. They’re a work in progress but there is some hope. Maybe in the next two season the Devils will be good again. Maybe that investment in John Hines and the improbably playoff run last season wasn’t a fluke. But just maybe the Devils need a face lift and need to start moving assets to take the next step.
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