New Jersey Devils: Assessing CapFriendly Trades Before Trade Deadline

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 30: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against the New Jersey Devils during the third period at TD Garden on March 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 30: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against the New Jersey Devils during the third period at TD Garden on March 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (70): Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Dmitry Kulikov has quickly become one of the most desired defensemen on the trade market. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason with the Devils, and he had to know it was possible he could be one of the way out if the team didn’t live up to expectations. Still, he’s by far the best of the Devils’ offseason acquisitions. Of the four players the Devils brought in this offseason, one retired, two have spent time as healthy scratches this season, and the other is Kulikov. He’s been great with P.K. Subban, and he would make a great addition to any team.

While there is a small chance the Devils could think it’s best to re-sign Kulikov, it is much more likely the Devils move him at the trade deadline. He’s a defenseman who could jump into any lineup and play well. Teams are going to want him, and it seems like the teams in the North Division make a lot of sense. We mocked him to the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week, but this one has CapFriendly user CLR mocking him to the Montreal Canadiens.

Jordan Weal really makes this deal interesting. The Devils would be taking salary off the Canadiens’ books and they would probably slightly upgrade their standing on draft choice. Teams probably want to stick around the “3rd-round pick” range, but the Devils hold much more value for Kulikov. The Canadiens coming in and offering a veteran who could play the rest of the season and a pick the Devils currently don’t have might be enough to make this deal work.