The New Jersey Devils are very clearly in the market for a defenseman. They lost Damon Severson and Ryan Graves in the offseason, and they hoped Kevin Bahl, Luke Hughes, and Colin Miller would be enough to replace them. It would be since those players have been fine to good this season, but the drop in production from John Marino and Jonas Siegenthaler left this defense with a lot of work to do. This is far from the defense that was suppressing shots, and the goalies' failure isn't helping.
The Devils are reportedly looking at defensemen on the market, especially since Dougie Hamilton went down with an injury. His torn pectoral could keep him out for the rest of the season, but it's at minimum going to keep him out until well into 2024.
A new report from James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now says the Devils are looking for a "stabilizing defenseman." Simon Nemec's ascent allows for the Devils to be patient, but that doesn't mean there are players that would be a colossal mistake to acquire.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline. They have some interesting assets if they decide to go full blow up. Patrik Laine hasn't worked at all this season and could use a change of scenery. Kent Johnson might bring the kind of return Columbus is looking for after he's been pulled back and forth between the NHL and AHL. Jack Roslovic is another interesting piece if he's able to come back from his fractured ankle.
As far as defensemen, there aren't many they will make available. They traded a third-round pick to the Devils so they could sign Damon Severson to an eight-year deal. They have some young players on the blueline, like David Jiricek. There aren't many movable pieces, but Jake Bean is a younger player who's in the last season of his deal.
The 25-year-old makes sense in some aspects. However, he doesn't really fix what the Devils need. If the Devils are going to trade for anyone, they need someone to fix this situation. That's not Jake Bean.