3 Trades To Make Carolina Hurricanes And New Jersey Devils Better

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton (19): (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton (19): (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /
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New Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Nino Niederreiter (21): (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /

This one seems like a surprise as Nino Niederreiter is an important part of the roster, but sometimes teams have to make hard decisions. The best teams move on from players one year too early rather than one year too late. Niederreiter is going to be a free agent next offseason, and the Hurricanes might want to get a deal for him now.

The Hurricanes got Niederreiter straight up for Victor Rask. If he leaves in free agency, they won that deal by a long shot. Niederreiter has a propensity for clutch goals, and he brings a little extra to the middle six. He was injured right before the Tampa series, and he wasn’t able to return until Game 5. He wasn’t able to contribute much, and he was only able to watch as his team got eliminated.

The Devils would love a player like Niederreiter to play on the wing. There’s no denying that fact. Would they be willing to give away a possible scorer in Graeme Clarke and another high pick on top of it? It seems plausible because of Clarke’s injury history. He could be a star, or he could see his career end with another shoulder injury. He’s missed dozens of games across his junior career already. Imagine what happens when he makes it to the hard-hitting NHL?

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However, the Hurricanes would love his 30-goal upside. He could be Patrick Laine on the next level if everything goes perfect. That’s a lot of upside to get for a player that could be leaving in a year. This is one of those deals where everyone hates it at first but it might work out perfectly in the end.