A blockbuster trade happened in the NHL as the New Jersey Devils have traded F Kyle Palmieri and F Travis Zajac (both 50% retained) were traded to the New York Islanders for a 2021 1st round pick, F AJ Greer, F Mason Jobst and a Conditional 2022 4th round pick. The New York Islanders are going all in this year for the Stanley Cup while the New Jersey Devils are getting draft picks for their rebuild. This trade is very fair for both sides but the slight winner of the trade is the Islanders due to the value.
New Jersey Devils Acquire:
2021 1st round pick (NYI)
2022 conditional 4th round pick* (NYI)
*Conditions: If the Islanders advance to the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Final, the 4th round pick upgrades to a 3rd in 2022 or 2023. Islanders have the option of which pick they will transfer.
New York Islanders Acquire:
Kyle Palmieri ($2,325,000 retained – 50%)
Travis Zajac ($2,875,000 retained – 50%)
The main piece of this trade is RW Kyle Palmieri who is known as one of the most consistent and hard-working players. Palmieri started his career off the Anaheim Ducks but was traded to the Devils in 2015-16. That’s when Palmieri really broke out, scoring a career high 30 goals and 57 points. In the next four seasons, Palmieri remained a consistent 20 goal 40+ point player for the Devils. This season Palmieri is having a bit of a down year with 17 points in 34 games, but he still is putting in effort every single game. Now on the Islanders, Palmieri should be replacing the injured Islanders captain Andres Lee’s role in the top 6. Palmieri has one year left on his contract and is going to be a pending UFA in the offseason which is why the Devils traded him once they couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension.
The other player going to the Islanders in the trade was veteran center Travis Zajac who has been on the Devils for his whole 15 year career. Zajac started off as an excellent point scoring center but through his career, he developed a very strong two-way game. On the Islanders, Zajac will provide great veteran leadership and his strong defensive game for the Islanders playoff run. Just like Palmieri, Zajac has one year left on his contract and will become a pending UFA.
Going back to New Jersey in this trade is a 2021 first round pick, Conditional 4th round pick, AJ Greer, and Mason Jobst. The 2021 first round pick is valuable for the Devils as they are going through a rebuild and want to stock up on picks. AJ Greer and Mason Jobst were added into the trade to balance out the contracts and don’t hold much. It may seem like the Devils could have gotten a bigger return for Palmieri and Zajac, however with this year’s deadline looking like a buyer’s market and with Palmieri underperforming this year, this trade does seem fair value wise.
Islanders Lines after the trade
Devils lines after the trade