Two Trades That Will Push Nashville To Trade Juuse Saros

The New Jersey Devils have needed a star goalie all season long. With Juuse Saros reportedly available, the Devils should be going all in.

Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Despite no actual moves made just yet, the goaltending trade market in the NHL is heating up. As of this writing, we're 18 days from the trade deadline. It continues to look like teams will be making moves early this season yet again. The New Jersey Devils looked like they had very nearly acquired Jacob Markstrom earlier this month, but multiple issues broke those trade talks down. This may still happen, but another name has entered the trade market: Juuse Saros. The asking price, like every price put out there, is extremely high, but we need to take that with not just a grain of salt but a whole bucket at this point. Considering how general managers operate and what players are going for, legit monster returns are rare.

Just to throw some examples out there, we should all remember that the Coyotes wanted the equivalent of four first-round picks in the NHL Draft for Jacob Chychrun, which is insanity, but they ended up accepting a first and a pair of seconds. Another much bigger deal was the price the Buffalo Sabres got for number-one center Jack Eichel. He was traded for one first, a second, a good but always injured Alex Tuch, and a completely unproven Peyton Krebs (who was a former first-round pick). For recent-ish Devils history as well, we should remember how many first-rounders they got for former MVP Taylor Hall. The Arizona Coyotes gave up a first and third-round pick, NIck Merkley, Nathan Scharr, and defensive prospect Kevin Bahl. So the question is, where do you put a very different position high-end goalie like Saros?

Saros is 28 years old, turning 29 in April, and his contract is only $5 million for this and the next season. He is sitting with career-low numbers this season on a bad Nashville team, a .902 save percentage and 3.02 goals against average, respectively, but there are a lot of reasons to think this would be better on a different team. Previous to this season, his worst save percentage was .914, and in the previous three seasons, he has been hovering around the .920 mark, which is elite. Compare this to the other guys the Devils have been linked to, 34-year-old Markstrom and 30-year-old John Gibson; their numbers have been inconsistent. Why not pay a bit more at the best time you can when he is a little down for the best option available?

Why Nashville should move Juuse Saros now.

Nashville has been a mediocre team for a long time and always sits on that playoff bubble and has not been a threat actually to win the Stanley Cup in a long time. They always have had good goaltending, solid to incredible defense, and absolutely no offense. Saros should be good for a while still, but the entire defense core on that team is in their 30s and trailing off, while the only guy they can expect to put the puck in the net is 29-year-old Filip Forsberg. They have to decide on an incoming rebuild or retool. Getting as many pieces before they fall off and lose value would be the smart play versus being a good team that doesn't win and drafts 12-18 for the next three seasons.

Holtz Trade

This one would be the less likely option of the two, but if the Predators wanted full futures, it could pan out quite well. Holtz is supremely underrated and has a high-tier shot at the NHL level. In the right situation, he could shine in a big way, but it is hard to tell what other teams think of him at this point. That being said, he is not proven, unlike another young gun on this list. The draft pick would need to be the first-rounder without a doubt, and teams could easily be intrigued by other prospects on this team, especially the Predators, who have Andrew Brunette now, who would have some very valuable opinions on guys on this team.

It also includes the Devils top prospect Seamus Casey. That could push the Preds over the top, especially since the Devils are pretty good on the right side.