5 Former Stud Prospects New Jersey Devils Should Target At Trade Deadline

The New Jersey Devils always want pieces that have a long-term impact on the team. There are some intriguing former prospects the Devils could theoretically get before the NHL Trade Deadline.

Ottawa Senators v New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages
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3. David Jiricek
Columbus Blue Jackets

Another young defenseman who seems to want out of his current situation is David Jiricek. The Columbus Blue Jackets took him with the sixth-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Devils took Nemec over Jiricek. Despite the early signs showing a lean towards Jiricek, this season, Nemec has been the much better player.

Again, that might be due to opportunity. The Devils hand was forced when Dougie Hamilton got injured. They needed someone who could replace his impact, and Nemec was their best chance to make that happen. It was a Hail Mary, but it worked.

Meanwhile, Jiricek has been moved up and down from Columbus to Cleveland. When he was demoted a few weeks ago, Jiricek said flat-out that he believes he's an NHL player. A player doesn't come out like that when they are happy. Of course, players on entry-level contracts get a huge paycut when they are sent to the AHL (sometimes as much as one-fifth their NHL salary), so there's no reason to doubt by Jiricek would be upset.

Making this complicated, the Blue Jackets just fired GM Jarmo Kekäläinen. A new GM still isn't in place, and just due to the timing, a quick trade for a top prospect right-handed defenseman doesn't make sense. Still, Fitzgerald should make the call the second a new GM is in place.