New Jersey Devils Trade Wayne Simmonds To Buffalo Sabres

Wayne Simmonds #17 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Wayne Simmonds #17 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In what can only be described as a head-scratching deal, the New Jersey Devils traded forward Wayne Simmonds for a 2021 5th-round pick.

New Jersey Devils fans came into the day seeing some of the major moves teams were making to add talent at the NHL Trade Deadline, and they got excited for what might be coming. The New York Islanders sent a huge haul to the Ottawa Senators for Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The Carolina Hurricanes made a very interesting deal to get Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers. Then, right around noon, the New Jersey Devils finally got involved.

However, it’s not a deal we are all proud of. The Devils traded Wayne Simmonds to the Buffalo Sabres. When Simmonds name was being floated to the Vancouver Canucks, there was talks of landing a top defensive prospect from legitimate sources. What they ended up with was a 5th-round pick. In 2021.

Not only that, the Devils decided to retain half his salary for the rest of the season. If they did that to make the return better, imagine the return they would have had if they didn’t retain any salary. It is what it is, but this deal is not what you want.

This is an awful return for an NHL player who’s still bringing value. We didn’t expect a ton, but we at least expected the Devils to get a draft pick they could use this season. Simmonds was never going to get them more than a mid-round pick, but this is a late round pick. Again, in next year’s NHL Draft.

Tom Fitzgerald is not building any confidence with this one, but there are still a lot of pieces on the Devils that could get moved. With Chris Kreider off the board, a team might come in high for Kyle Palmieri. Sami Vatanen is still the highest rated defenseman on the draft board. Things can still happen, but the first deal of the day was a disappointment.