3 Trades To Send Noah Hanifin, Jacob Markstrom to New Jersey Devils`

The New Jersey Devils have been rumored to be in talks with the Calgary Flames on two stars. What would it cost to bring in Noah Hanifin, Jacob Markstrom, or both?

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) with defenseman Noah Hanifin
Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) with defenseman Noah Hanifin / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Jersey Devils have been devastated by injuries this season. Jack Hughes, Timo Meier, Ondrej Palat, Tomas Nosek, and Nolan Foote are all currently out of the lineup. Brendan Smith had to move from his better position of forward to move back to defense after the Devils lost Jonas Siegenthaler to a broken foot. Dougie Hamilton is out until the playoffs most likely with a torn pectoral muscle. It has the Devils pushing Simon Nemec and Luke Hughes to new heights, as the rookies are being asked to play much bigger roles.

On top of the injuries, the Devils have been dealing with league-worst goaltending. Vitek Vanecek is rolling with an -11.5 goals saved above average. That ranks 83rd in the league. For those keeping count, most teams have two goalies, so he's theoretically worse than all starters and almost all backups. Akira Schmid hasn't been much better, and Nico Daws is coming off a major hip injury.

The Devils need a defenseman, likely a top-four defenseman, and a starting goalie. There are many starting goalies available. However, the top option that's actually available might be Jacob Markstrom. He's older with a scary contract, but he's good right now. The Flames are in a unique position where they also have Noah Hanifin, and they can pair the two together in a deal. The Devils are also in a unique position where they have multiple players eligible for long-term injured reserve. Hamilton himself will get them $9 million in theoretical cap space.

With the Devils having the capacity to make a deal work, what would it actually cost to get Hanifin, Markstrom, or both? Some will cost more than others.

Markstrom

Let's start with the smallest of the three trades, but the one that might be most likely. Jacob Markstrom is going to be the hardest for the Flames to trade, so he will likely come with the easiest price. The Devils need a goalie, but almost nobody who wants a goalie is willing to go two more years after this one at $6 million per. The Maple Leafs just gave William Nylander $11 million and can't afford another risk in net after this season. The Hurricanes can't afford him on the roster. Neither can the Oilers.

The Devils know the goalie market is insane, so they might go for the most bang for their buck, even if it means a risk later on. Markstrom would be the goalie of note, at least this season and next. Then, if he's good, they'll keep him throughout the rest of his contract. If not, they could always buy out the last year of his deal.

Markstrom's contract tanks his value. It's a huge risk for whichever team takes him on. That's why his value to the Devils would be a 2025 second-round pick and prospect Zakhar Bardakov. It's not a great prospect, but he's not necessarily a bad one, either. It's not like another team can match this deal. The Flames outright refuse to retain salary, and that is likely not a Brad Treliving policy. It comes from higher up than him. So, with that policy in place, the Flames are stuck with the Devils as suitors.