New Jersey Devils Ready To Make Moves To Boost Roster

The New Jersey Devils played a role being an asset partner between the Dallas Stars, and the Calgary Flames. The New Jersey Devils published this news earlier but lets go over more context.

Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils got involved in a major trade between the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames, sending Chris Tanev to the Stanley Cup contender. In order to get a fourth-round pick from Dallas, the Devils had to retain 25% salary on Tanev's deal. As part of this trade, UMass goaltender Cole Brady is currently projected to be more of an average goalie per Hockey Prospecting, similar to Jonas Hiller and Ilya Bryzgalov, which would be a good thing for Dallas because they need to be sure they have someone behind Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood in the depth chart.

You may ask yourself.: what does that extra spot mean? There are several scenarios in which you can slice this figurative New Jersey pizza. The Devils could package the draft pick in an upcoming trade similar to the Tyler Toffoli deal over the summer. They could use that to add a really physical defenseman or physical forward that brings immediate grit and stability as a veteran rounding up the young nucleus.

They could also use the draft pick gained to draft and develop a goalie. You can never have enough good or great goalies in a pipeline, and the UFA market is relatively thin on possible available talent.

The last option is to trade up in the draft for someone who could be high on Paul Castron and Mark Dennehey's draft boards. They are both looking for players that are worth the risk-to-reward ratio.

This here could be a bellwether for a potential trade with Calgary or whatever team GM Tom Fitzgerald decides to upgrade the goaltending to not only try and push for a playoff spot but also help push this team to play better in the near term. It is a very speculative time of year when some things do come to fruition now or they come out around the NHL Draft. There will always be a cost basis a potential suitor will want from the New Jersey Devils, and it has to be something Tom Fitzgerald can work with.

Having a veteran netminder like Juuse Saros or Jacob Markstrom around on this roster would force the Devils to move some near-term pieces that might never pan out. Tom Fitzgerald has to do a very delicate balancing act where it won't jeopardize the core group, and the cap situation is improved in time because the cap space next season is $19.84 million. It jumps to a little over $33 million in 2025-26. Adding a veteran like Noah Hanifin on defense or Radko Gudas on defense helps change the dynamic of this Devils roster with playoff experience and a lot of grit and sandpaper to this team's lineup.

This offseason, Dawson Mercer has an RFA contract that needs to be worked out and could get a bigger boost if he has a banner year next season. Then next season, Luke Hughes and Kevin Bahl have their RFA contract deals that will be up for extensions. In 2026-27, Simon Nemec is up for a new deal. On top of all this, the Devils have to get a veteran goalie that wouldn't overwhelm the team on term and AAV. If Tom Fitzgerald can pull off another trade that doesn't require Dawson Mercer and Alexander Holtz the way he pulled off the Timo Meier deal a year ago, it would likely help this team grow into something very fun to watch.

Between now and March 8th, a lot can happen. The buyers-to-sellers ratio may be out of whack due to the competitive balance in the NHL. You can say it is the hard cap, but it also has to be the general managers and their scouting staffs. Despite that, the Devils are certainly active and looking to make a real hockey trade again.