New Jersey Devils Must Trade To Improve This Off-season


It’s no secret that this off-season NHL clubs will mostly have to look to the trade market in hopes of improving their rosters as this years free agency pool is a little short on big game players. The recent list of “Top 15 UFAs” by Sportsnet which has Mike Ribeiro and Carl Soderberg as the top forwards yet to have a contract beyond June 30th. You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking Nashville tie up Ribeiro so that would bump up 40-year-old Marty St. Louis and Antoine Vermette as the next best.

The New Jersey Devils list of players that can command the kind of return the team needs is slimmer pickings than the free agency market. The New Jersey Devils may have to shop around Eric Gelinas or Jon Merrill in search for a much coveted top six forward. Obviously Gelinas would have to be traded to somewhere he is going to sign with as an RFA. 

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After a third consecutive 1st round elimination, the St. Louis Blues may have a few changes coming up in the off-season. A name I’ve seen mentioned with a possible departure from the gateway to the west is T.J. Oshie. Patrik Berglund also played a bigger role for the Blues this season than ever before.

Add that to the emergence of Jori Lehtera and promising play from Dmitrij Jaskin and a young Merrill or Gelinas plus a draft pick could be enough to tempt the Blues into a trading him. Oshie has scored 115 points in the last two seasons, 151 games. It will most likely take multiple draft picks and a prospect from the system to pull off such a trade.

The Edmonton Oilers have an abundance of young skilled forwards and Leon Draisaitl lighting up the WHL with 53 points in 32 games for the Kelowna Rockets. They will likely also have a shiny new Connor McDavid on his way this summer. With the need for more talented defensemen and a little grit up front, that new President and GM Peter Chiarelli will likely bring, something’s gotta give. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov are three names constantly linked to trades away from the Oilers.

Yakupov would seem like he’d be the easiest to get with his 33 points in 81 games, however he recently signed a two-year contract extension so the Oilers may end up keeping him. Jordan Eberle topped the Oilers scoring charts with 63 points in 81 games but he appears to be easier to acquire than prized possession, Taylor Hall. Hall only played 53 games this season after suffering a sprained MCL, a foot injury and ankle injury. He still managed to put up 38 points in those games he played in. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle would likely cost more than a potential T.J. Oshie trade, but the Oilers may be more keen to pull the trigger than the Blues.

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I previously proposed a move to bring Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly to the New Jersey Devils in First Round Pick: Who’s Worth Trading It For? post in March. A move for O’Reilly would certainly cost the New Jersey Devils 1st round pick despite that O’Reilly is set to walk in July 2016. Also adding a defenseman to negotiations may not do much for the New Jersey Devils, as a similar defensive log jam would be created for the Avalanche. In addition, the only two forwards I think would get the team a top caliber forward are on our sites untouchables list.

Another player that may be made available for a trade by Anaheim is Jiri Sekac. After a shocking trade that saw Sekac swapped for Devante Smith-Pelly the 22-year-old Czech forward only scored 26 points in 69 games while splitting time (50/19) between Montreal and Anaheim. Sekac initially burst on to the scene for the Canadiens as a free agent rookie signing from Lev Praha in the KHL were he scored 28 points in 47 games.

He looked like a steal having been signed for just $1.85m for two years before being mismanaged by Michel Therrien and finding his offensive output dropping off. Sekac has found himself on the outside looking in with the Ducks as of late and served as a healthy scratch often and as Bruce Boudreau’s men swept the Winnipeg Jets. The best part about Sekac is that he can be nudged in the right direction with the right coaching and would likely only cost the New Jersey Devils a couple of picks without giving up a 1st rounder or prospect. That would also allow for this to accompany one of the trade options above.

Which moves would you like to see the New Jersey Devils make? Who would you go for? Who and what would you give up to improve the New Jersey Devils this off-season?

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