1. Devils Could Take An Asset From Vegas
The Vegas Golden Knights have been desperate for a center for a while now. After making the surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final in its first season of existence, the team has been making gigantic moves to try and be a champion. They traded for and signed Alex Pietrangelo, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Tomas Tatar, Robin Lehner, and Evgeni Dadonov. That’s a ton of talent to acquire in just four seasons.
Vegas isn’t done. That last game of last season against the Montreal Canadiens, the Knights had William Karlsson as their first-line center and Chandler Stephenson as their second-line center. They added Nolan Patrick in the offseason, but we saw what happened when a team went into the season relying on Patrick to be the second-line center. The Golden Knights might NEED Eichel more than any other team. They can survive a few months while he recovers from surgery, but after trading away the reigning Vezina winner in Marc-Andre Fleury, if things go bad this season because they have no depth, some might start to question the front office.
The Knights need to go big, but what assets do they have that the Sabres might want? They have draft picks. They could also throw Patrick into the trade (he hasn’t signed his RFA deal yet). After that, it’s Peyton Krebs and a bunch of question marks. They don’t have the assets to make this trade work, but they could call the Devils, who have a deep prospect pool, and make an offer they can’t refuse.
If the Sabres trade Eichel for, let’s say, four 1st-round picks and that’s it, there’s nothing to get excited about now. Sabres fans have to wait four years to see if this is even close to worth it. Especially since the Golden Knights made one pick (outside the first one) ahead of pick 20 shows these aren’t going to be great. The Sabres need prospects.
So, the Knights could give the Devils the future draft picks for young players. There are too many to choose from to actually name any. It’s whoever the Sabres actually want. There are some interesting young defensemen the Devils might not have room for. There is also the possibility of adding Reilly Walsh to the team to bring a veteran scoring threat.