New Jersey Devils Trade Deadline Preview: Who Should They Keep?

New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28): (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28): (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /
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New Jersey Devils
General manager Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Another NHL Trade Deadline is upon us, and the New Jersey Devils are again in the midst of a losing season, but that doesn’t mean the roster is lost. Next Monday, March 21st, NHL front offices will be sent into a frenzy when teams will be dealing assets left and right. Some franchises will be selling off whatever guys they can get a draft pick for, and others will be looking to bolster their team in hopes of making a Stanley Cup run.

Over the last decade, the Devils have obviously done a lot of losing, which has led them to be sellers most seasons as of late. This season is no different. The Devils are as far away from a playoff spot as you could get, which would call for a fire sale for most teams in that same spot.

However, disregard their record for a second. For the first time in a long time, Devils fans are feeling some level of optimism about this year’s team. Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt are enjoying breakout seasons. Nico Hischier, Dougie Hamilton, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Dawson Mercer are outstanding cornerstones for the future. Whatever it is, it seems like general manager Tom Fitzgerald has a good recipe brewing in New Jersey.

I bring these players up because two of them were acquired from the Devils’ front office being aggressive. Of course, the Devils got Hughes, Mercer, and Hischier from sucking and or selling. Still, their two defensemen of the future were obtained. One at the trade deadline, and the other in free agency.

The point is, for the first time in a long time, the Devils seem like they’re on the brink of bursting through the light at the end of the tunnel. While some guys should and will be traded at the deadline, some guys shouldn’t be dealt because their talent or veteran leadership goes a long way for the future of this team.

Their poor record shouldn’t deter them from doing a Siegenthaler-type deal again (taking a chance on someone who hasn’t been given the opportunity to excel) or trading for someone with control.