New Jersey Devils: 3 Teams That Should Be In On Sami Vatanen

New Jersey Devils defensemen Sami Vatanen and Ryan Murray (22): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defensemen Sami Vatanen and Ryan Murray (22): (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
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New Jersey Devils
Sami Vatanen #45 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils are finally looking like a competitive team on the ice again after it appeared the COVID-19 outbreak that hit the team a few weeks ago really knocked the players off their game. The veterans are mostly turning things around, and the rookies are stepping up and helping this team win on a nightly basis. Unfortunately, it’s all too late.

The Devils are currently ten points out of a playoff spot with 27 games to go. Is it impossible to make the postseason? That’s probably not the right word, but it’s definitely not going to happen. That means it is time to start selling off assets. The Devils are one of the few remaining sellers with the Vancouver Canucks finding themselves back in the playoff race.

The trade deadline is less than three weeks away, and teams will likely want new assets to come into the building as soon as possible. That will have them calling Tom Fitzgerald, who proved last season he is willing to part with assets well before the trade deadline. One of those assets is defenseman Sami Vatanen.

The Finnish defenseman was re-signed in the offseason after the Devils traded him last season to the Carolina Hurricanes. He got the Devils Janne Kuokkanen and a draft pick that eventually turned into goaltender Nico Daws. It was a huge haul for Vatanen, who was hurt at the time of the trade. The Devils are getting a big return from Kuokkanen alone. And now, Vatanen could turn into assets again.

Vatanen likely won’t get the same return as he did last season, but he will certainly have a following around the league. He struggled to start the season, but he has been much better as of late. That will lead to a team looking for a defenseman to push towards the playoffs to pay for his services.