The New Jersey Devils finally traded star winger Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes. Instead of setting the team up for the future, the Devils got a lot of long shots and a 1st-round pick.
We had dreams of Bowen Byram or Philip Broberg. We thought that Vincent Trocheck and Spencer Knight could be coming to New Jersey. There were rumblings that Ray Shero was working to get Connor Timmins or something of serious value. Instead, the New Jersey Devils traded Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes for Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr, along with a 2020 1st-round pick and a conditional 2021 3rd-round pick.
It is a “haul” that looks rough on paper. The Devils didn’t get their defenseman of the future, and they weren’t able to get an NHL player that can replace at least a little of what they were losing in Hall.
Maybe we never had a chance to get a major deal. Hall is coming off a season lost to a knee injury. He didn’t exactly light the league on fire with his six goals in 30 games. Hall is on the final year of his contract, and for Arizona it looks like he’s going to be a pure rental. As some look at what the New York Islanders got for John Tavares, they might say something is better than nothing.
However, the Devils had a former league MVP on their hands, and they traded him on December 16th. Not only is it months away from the NHL Trade Deadline, but it is three days from the NHL roster freeze. Word on the street was that teams were coming in with offers all over the place after the Devils sat Hall out from Friday night’s game.
All weekend, there were rumors that Ray Shero was working everyone’s offer against each other. We thought he was going to pull some magic from a desperate general manager. Then, the rumors came out that not only was every team’s best prospect off the table, but their best three prospects were not available.
Listen, the Devils weren’t going to keep Hall, so he had to be traded. They ended up getting a 1st-round pick from a fringy team that’s having a good season in a loaded draft. However, we just expected it to be so much more. The Devils prospect pool is maybe slightly better today, but still not one of the best in the league after this trade. That’s where we were hoping things would be different.