New Jersey Devils Should Ask About A Trevor Zegras Trade

The New Jersey Devils are focused on trading for a defenseman or goalie to keep them afloat in the playoff race. However, there might be a unique opportunity to trade for a star forward.

New Jersey Devils v Anaheim Ducks
New Jersey Devils v Anaheim Ducks / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Anaheim Ducks shocked the NHL world on Monday night, trading for superstar prospect Cutter Gauthier. We later learned Gauthier informed the Philadelphia Flyers he did not want to play for their franchise. The Ducks sent former sixth-overall defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick to get the American center. So, how does this impact the New Jersey Devils?

Trevor Zegras is known to be a very good friend to Devils star Jack Hughes. They were both the respective stars from the US National Development in 2018-19. Hughes scored 112 points in 50 games, while Zegras had 87 points in 60 games. They made this team unstoppable offensively, and it might be the most star-studded version of the Program.

Zegras and Hughes have remained friends throughout the years, and we see that at the All-Star Game when both are invited. They love playing together even though the opportunity is rare.

That brings us to Monday night. The Gauthier trade gave the Anaheim Ducks a consortium of centers that most teams would kill for. Besides Gauthier and Zegras, the Ducks have this year's second-overall pick Leo Carlsson, former third-overall pick Mason McTavish, former first-round pick Nathan Gaucher, and some other later-round picks who could become good depth pieces. That's a lot of centers, and Zegras has already moved to the wing.

Ironically, that's where Zegras has value to the Devils. Weirdly, Jack Hughes was most successful when he was playing with another center. Whether it's Dawson Mercer, Erik Haula, or Nico Hischier on the power play, Hughes seems to excel with someone who has the mindset to go anywhere on the ice. Imagine if that linemate is one of his best friends?

Besides the bevy of centers in Anaheim, the Ducks and Zegras have gone through some awful contract negotiations. They eventually came to an agreement for a bridge deal. He's getting $5.75 million for two more seasons after this one. He hasn't reacted well, scoring just seven points in 19 games this season.

Zegras' value is very low compared to where it was two years ago. Can the Devils come in, make a move for a player that's within their window, and get him at a discount? The Ducks aren't going to give Zegras away no matter what they think of him. The ask is going to be a first-round pick plus a top prospect. However, we're pretty sure the Devils would say no. Would they say no if it was one or the other?

Maybe the Ducks don't want to trade Zegras. Maybe he is going to be the veteran presence once this incredible collection of prospects, which got better now with Gauthier, graduates to the NHL. Zegras could get better than he's been, but it's at least worth the Devils asking about him.