Grading All New Jersey Devils Moves At NHL Trade Deadline

The New Jersey Devils made four trades ahead of the trade deadline. Many were controversial, but one seemed to get all Devils fans on the same page.

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils made some big moves ahead of the trade deadline on Friday. They didn’t add the way people thought they might be coming into the 2023-24 season, but they kind of played the role of a buyer and a seller. 

That is what happens when a good young team is injured and underperforms all season long. Being six points out of the playoffs doesn’t mean you’re out but it makes it very hard to be legit buyers. 

Everyone knew that they would shop around some of their pending UFAs while looking for help in the net. Well, they made four trades ahead of the deadline and this is how they did in each one using letter grades: 

The New Jersey Devils made four trades to try and improve their organization

Toffoli Trade

The Devils scratched Tyler Toffoli on Thursday night for “trade-related reasons.” That made it clear that the decision was made to finally let him go via trade. They did just that on Friday. The Devils traded Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets for a third-round pick in 2024 and a second-round pick in 2025. They also retained 50% of his salary. Overall, knowing they retained money, this is a very underwhelming return. We thought they’d get more since he was the biggest piece available coming into the final hours of the deadline, and they didn’t. 

Trade Grade: C-

Jake Trade

The New Jersey Devils acquired Jake Allen at 50% of his salary cap hit in exchange for a second-round pick in 2025. The pick becomes a second if he plays 40 games next year and makes the playoffs. It is good that they have a little more stability in the net even though he isn’t elite. He is an upgrade, even if you’d rather not give up top-three-round picks. 

Trade Grade: B

Miller Trade

Colin Miller was in and out of the lineup for most of his New Jersey Devils tenure, but he was solid during his time. As a pending UFA, it was fair to see them trade him. They got a 2026 fourth-round pick for him. You might as well get an asset for someone you don’t necessarily need anymore. 

Trade Grade: B-

Vitek Trade

The New Jersey Devils were able to get Vitek Vanecek off the books. He had a tough year, and it looked like the Devils would have to pay him next year, too. That won’t be the case, though, as they shipped him off to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for goalie Kaapo Kahkonen. They can see if he is worth keeping, but he will be a UFA at the end of this year. He may or may not be good but they freed themselves of Vanecek. That is a big win right there. With Jake Allen down the stretch, these two could play well together. 

Trade Grade: A