New Jersey Devils Players Possibility Of Being Traded This Season

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 26: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New Jersey Devils yells at Kevin Hayes #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of the second period at the Prudential Center on January 26, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 26: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New Jersey Devils yells at Kevin Hayes #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of the second period at the Prudential Center on January 26, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Nikita Gusev (97): (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) /

Nikita Gusev
Chances He Gets Traded: 40%

Would a team be willing to give Nikita Gusev a chance to play out the string if it cost them basically nothing in a trade? Yeah, probably. Are the Devils looking to give him away for nothing? That doesn’t seem to be the kind of deal the Devils and Tom Fitzgerald like to make. Gusev has been the worst player on the Devils this season. Full stop. Something has seemed incredibly off all season, and he can’t get out of his own way. There’s a possibility the pandemic is really taking a toll, or maybe the truncated start to the season made it impossible for him to get going.

There’s the possibility that nobody even wants Gusev at the trade deadline. He is owed north of $4 million this season. Teams aren’t trying to take on money like that, even if the Devils retained the maximum 50% of his contract.

The Devils are looking at a Wayne Simmonds-type deal at the maximum here. A future 5th-round pick for an asset they spent a 2nd and a 3rd on? It’s not a great return, obviously, but it’s probably the one they need to accept.

There’s a chance the Devils let Gusev play out the string in New Jersey. Maybe there’s a legitimate excuse for his complete plummet to the depths of the NHL. This is a player that was really good down the stretch last season. Now, he’s unplayable. Lindy Ruff hasn’t put him in the lineup since March 20th. He’s only played 20 games this year and he only has two goals. He’s still very talented, but when some of his advanced stats are literally worst in the league, the Devils have to look at their options.