New Jersey Devils Trade Sami Vatanen To Carolina Hurricanes

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils made a deal at near the NHL Trade Deadline buzzer where they send defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The New Jersey Devils finally traded one of their most coveted assets in defenseman Sami Vatanen. He’s on his way to the Carolina Hurricanes, who became a partner after Brett Pesce got injured in their last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Obviously, coming into the season, the Hurricanes weren’t a likely team to deal with the Devils for a defenseman. They signed Jake Gardiner to add to a defense that has Jaccob Slavin, Pesce, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Dougie Hamilton. It seemed like one of the deepest blue lines in the league.

Then, Hamilton had a major ankle injury that’s going to make him miss most of the season, but he could return for the playoffs possibly. Pesce, like we said, is now out for a while. Gardiner never really seemed to fit for whatever reason. It seemed very quickly, the Hurricanes needed a defenseman.

Vatanen felt like a better asset for the Devils as a trade piece than he did on the ice. He’s been fighting off injuries for a lot of his time with the Devils. In fact, he’s fighting off an injury after blocking a shot earlier this month. Despite that, he was the fourth ranked asset on TSN’s trade bait list. Chris Kreider was taken off the board at the beginning of the day. Then, the Ottawa Senators sent Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders fairly early as well.

Next. Devils Trade Wayne Simmonds To Buffalo. dark

That made Sami Vatanen the best piece that wasn’t the Hurricanes own 1st-round pick. Vatanen was always going to get moved, but the Hurricanes only made sense this week, and they got it done.

Editor’s note: The reported return for this trade changed a half hour after the trade happened. Not sure where the miscommunication was, but this is the correct return.

For Vatanen’s services, the Devils get prospect Janne Kuokkanen, roster player Fredrik Claesson and the Hurricane’s own 4th rounder. Kuokkanen is a 2016 2nd-round pick that is having a nice season with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Not only will he eventually add something to New Jersey, but the Devils could decide to put him in Binghamton to add to their push for the playoffs.

At the end of the day, they took a position that just didn’t seem to gain chemistry in right-handed defensemen, and turned them into a 4th-round pick that becomes a 3rd-round pick if he plays enough games and a prospect that has a ton of upside. We wish the pick was a little better, but it is what it is.