New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Likely On Trade Block Already

New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 6
Next
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (70): (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dmitry Kulikov

The Devils have Murray, Vatanen, Connor Carrick, Matt Tennyson, and Dmitry Kulikov as defensemen who are on expiring contracts. This is obviously going to be a destination for a team looking to add defensive depth to their roster going into the playoffs. The Devils can’t possibly trade them all away. They still need to roster enough to put out an NHL and AHL lineup.

So, when it comes to trading either Vatanen or Kulikov, we’re leaning Kulikov. Yes, the Devils already trade Vatanen once, but after bringing him back late in the offseason, he’s probably the smarter pick to keep around.

Kulikov has played well above his expectations at times this season. He has a 54.84 CF% at 5v5. That’s seventh on the team. He’s been a serviceable defenseman on the left side. Obviously, he also needs to work on the penalty kill, but at 5v5 he’s been great.

A team will see what he brings to the table and make a move on him. His value all has to do with what other defensemen are available on the market. TSN’s Trade Bait board has six defensemen among the top 15. That includes the top four on the board. Some dominoes need to fall before teams start calling about Kulikov. Since the Devils have multiple defensemen available, teams might be looking to make a smaller move with them if players like Brandon Montour or Mattias Ekholm become too expensive.