Just after completing my last article saying to trade Henrik Tallinder, I was informed that the New Jersey Devils did just that. The Devils sent veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder to the Buffalo Sabres, where Tallinder started his career, for left winger Riley Boychuk.
Boychuk, 22, is a 6-foot-4, 217-pound, big bodied forward who is still looking to play in his first career NHL game. He was a seventh round pick by the Sabres in 2010 (208th Overall). He has only played 26 games in the AHL, notching two assists and 18 penalty minutes. From what it sounds like, Boychuk is more of a tough, bruising winger who focuses on the defensive aspect of the game.
But the meaning of this trade was to free some dead weight and cap space. Tallinder was set to make $3,375,000 this season, so it will nearly double the available cap space for them to sign someone else. The loss of a defenseman is not a big deal for the Devils. This will give an opportunity to one of the young defensive prospects in the AHL right now. Expect to see Eric Gelinas or Alexander Urbom on the roster come October.
The available cap space now leaves room for the Devils to sign more free agents, as well as their RFA’s Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson. Possible free agent targets include Damian Brunner, Mikhail Grabovski, and Nik Antropov.