New Jersey Devils: 5 Reasons to Stand Pat at NHL Trade Deadline

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(Photo by Adam Hunger/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Hunger/NHLI via Getty Images) /

2. Prime trade candidates are/could be core players moving forward

The Devils are undoubtedly in good hands with Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Mackenzie Blackwood as young, cornerstone players moving forward. That being said, guys like Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, and Blake Coleman surely have their place amongst the franchise’s hierarchy.

The bottom-line with these three players is that they are all very movable. There has been some noise around Palmieri since Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic speculated that the right-winger would be a good fit for the Boston Bruins’ trade deadline plans back in early-January. Palmieri carries a bargain cap-hit of $4.65 million and is signed through next season, making him a no-brainer addition for any cap-strapped contender. However, Pierre LeBrun followed up Shinzawa’s story a few weeks later and reported that Ray Shero, prior to being fired, was not taking calls on Palmieri. With Fitzergald at the helm now, it’s anybody’s guess if this is still true.

As for Coleman, he’s probably a longshot to get dealt, but it’s still worth mentioning his name as the 20-goal scorer is also signed through 2020-21 at an extremely friendly $1.8 million cap-hit. His contract is such a steal that it’s only common sense to believe that teams have at least inquired about his availability. Opposite of Coleman, Vatanen is probably the most likely to get dealt at the deadline, since he is set to be a UFA at season’s end. We know that the Carolina Hurricanes, amongst other teams, have inquired about the 29-year old right-handed defenseman, according to LeBrun.

Coleman and Palmieri have turned into consistent 20-goal scorers with the Devils. Vatanen is second on the team in average time-on-ice at 21:45, trailing only P.K. Subban by just a few seconds. These three players are just as important to the Devils as Hischier and Hughes are right now, so trading any of them would be a mistake if the team wishes to remain even somewhat competitive heading into next season.