New Jersey Devils: 5 Huge Surprises That Could Happen This Offseason

Pavel Zacha #37 and P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Pavel Zacha #37 and P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
General manager Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

4. Signing Zero NHL Free Agents

On the other side of things, we’ve seen the Devils really disappoint us in the free agency department. There have been years in the past when it seems like a really good fit is available, but the Devils decide to look elsewhere. The team is in a strange position this offseason. The team is pretty set in stone when looking at the projected lineup. They’ve had to move pieces out just to make room for a free agent.

That’s why a trade or three makes much more sense than signing players in free agency. The Devils need to shuffle assets instead of just adding them. Teams like the Devils tend to do better with the trade route anyway. That’s the only way to get younger assets, and the Devils have a lot of prospects who could add to the viability of a trade.

The Devils are starting to get a logjam when it comes to forward prospects. The Devils have Holtz, Fabian Zetterlund, Tyce Thompson, and Nolan Foote who all should be ready to make the NHL next season. They also have Graeme Clarke, Arseni Gritsyuk, Chase Stillman, and Samu Salminen who could find themselves pushing for a roster spot if literally everything went right. It seems way too early for them, but we’ve seen crazier things happen.

Our point is that the Devils don’t need to sign free agents. They need to make upgrades to the roster. They need to make room for some players, and they still need legit NHL players. Trades is a much better route for the Devils this season, and they might end up signing zero free agents.