New Jersey Devils: Trade That Actually Moves Needle For Cole Caufield

Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield (22): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield (22): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

We’ve heard it all when it comes to Cole Caufield trades. We’ve been writing about possible Cole Caufield trades since before the 2019 NHL Draft. Last year, the famous trade target was Nico Hischier for Caufield. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and the Devils and Montreal Canadiens never made a deal. However, if the Devils really wanted this to happen, the cost would be astronomical.

First, let’s discuss why Devils fans keep returning to the Caufield idea. Jack Hughes was tied to Caufield when they both played for the U.S. National Development Team. Together, they combined for 97 goals in their last season on the team before the draft. Of course, the Devils took Hughes first overall. Meanwhile, Caufield saw his stock plummet to the point he fell to 15th in the draft.

If there was a redraft of 2019, Hughes is probably still the first pick, but Caufield is in the top five, almost definitely. He’s shown his size does not impact his play. He can score against anyone. Mortiz Seider and Trevor Zegras would join Hughes and Caufield in the top five.

The Canadiens aren’t looking to trade Caufield. They are in a weird rebuild, but they are also trying to compete with a strange roster. They are three points behind a Wild Card spot despite clearly needing to reset the roster. So, there’s no way the Canadiens are moving their 21-year-old goal leader.

That is, unless a team comes off the top rope with an insane trade offer.

The Devils have the pieces to offer said package. The Devils will start the deal with Alexander Holtz. Caufield’s production is exactly what the Devils were hoping they would get from Holtz. Unfortunately, Holtz’s speed has been a problem in this lineup. Caufield doesn’t have the same problem. He knows he can keep up with Hughes. He did it for years.

That’s not nearly enough. The Canadiens would ask for Luke Hughes, but the Devils literally can’t trade their star player’s star brother, even if it is for someone he’s incredibly close to. So, the Canadiens go for the right-handed phenom. Second-overall pick Simon Nemec would get added to the trade.

Devils fans would hope this would be enough. Nemec and Holtz is a massive prospect combination. Again, we are talking about a 21-year-old sniper who is on pace for north of 30 goals this season. He’s tied for eighth in the league in scoring. That cost a lot. More than Nemec and Holtz.

The Devils would have to give the Canadiens some control. This year’s first-round pick is a given, but at this point, it would be 31st overall. That still doesn’t move the needle. The Devils have to add in their own 2024 first-round pick.

Next. Devils Top 25 Prospects. dark

So to even get the Canadiens to respond, the Devils have to offer Simon Nemec, Alex Holtz, and two first-round picks. The package is massive, but Caufield has that kind of value. The Devils would give up the farm, but it might be worth it.