5 last-minute things to know as New Jersey Devils begin free agency frenzy

The New Jersey Devils made moves during the NHL Draft to free up some cap space, and now they can shop during NHL Free Agency. As we hit July 1, here is what you need to know before the frenzy begins.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Another Trade Possible?

The most popular question we’ve received since the end of the draft is about one player on the trade market. Even though it seems all of the rumors are surrounding free agency, we know in the past Fitzgerald has been upset with how the market has played out and instead facilitated a trade. This year, the name most people want to be a target is Brady Tkachuk. We’re sorry to say that’s completely off the board. For one, the Devils just can’t afford him. Also, the Senators have no reason to trade him. They are also going for it this season.

That doesn’t mean another trade isn’t possible. Some of the names already on the market that would qualify as top-six forwards include Patrik Laine, Trevor Zegras, Frank Vatrano, and Pavel Buchnevic. However, it seems every year, a surprise name gets traded.

There are a few names the Devils could not afford, like some of the players the Rangers have reportedly dangled (but a trade with the Rangers wouldn’t happen anyway), maybe a Vegas star as they try to keep cap compliant, or Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers. Those are all unattainable. 

The thing about surprises is they are… well a surprise. Just like the Holtz trade, these deals can come out of nowhere. However, it still feels much more likely Fitz goes after someone in free agency to fill these needs.