New Jersey Devils Should Trade Tyler Toffoli No Matter What

With the trade deadline looming on Friday, there are rumors that the New Jersey Devils may keep their top goal scorer this season. However, this is not the smart thing to do. The Devils should cut bait and get as many assets for Toffoli as possiible.

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 season has not gone according to plan. One of the few bright sports this season has been the play of Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli is on pace for almost 35 goals this year, something the Devils asked from Toffoli and have been getting. The Devils gave up Yegor Sharangovich, who has been having a good year as well, and a third-round pick. This was a perfect hockey trade that worked out for both sides.

The Devils thought they would be competing this year, however it all came crashing down. The Devils find themselves out of the playoff race right now and a miracle would be needed to claw their way back into a wild card spot it seems. What do teams do when they are in the basement? Sell. That is exactly what the Devils need to do with Toffoli.

As a pending free agent, Toffoli is a perfect candidate for the NHL Trade Deadline. However, there have been reports that the Devils would rather keep Toffoli and try and re-sign him. While Toffoil would be good for the Devils long term, that is not the smart move now.

The Devils can easily get a first-round pick from a contender in return plus a prospect or maybe another pick. If Toffoli has liked his time in New Jersey as much as it has come across, there should be no reason the Devils offer him a deal in free agency come July. With only a day left until the deadline, there is no guarantee that Toffoli will sign an extension. To roll the dice is not a smart move.

With Sean Walker, Adam Henrique, and others going for a first-round pick, the Devils should easily get a similar package. This would give the Devils two first-round picks this year. If the Devils do not trade for a goalie, they can package one or both picks for a goalie like Juuse Saros, Jeremy Swayman, or someone like that. For what it's worth, trading two first round picks for Jacob Markstrom would be a massive mistake, which is a conversation for a different day.

To miss out on a haul for Toffoli is poor asset management by Tom Fitzgerald, someone who has had a rocky season himself. No matter what, Toffoli should be dealt. It is a slam dunk to do if you can get a package that is better than what you gave up for Toffoli. If Toffoli really likes New Jersey, and he has been a perfect fit, he will come back in free agency.