Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac trade grades: Devils send pair to mega deal
It’s officially official: the trading season is here.
With less than a week to go before the NHL trade period, a major Eastern Division exchange fell on Wednesday night when the Tri-State clubs, the Devils and the Islanders, negotiated players and options. The New York national team caught strikers Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac while New Jersey got two small leagues and a few draft picks – one that was the first round.
It’s a good deal for both clubs as the Devils supply the cupboards and the Islands get two guys who can help Stanley Cup competitors.
Here’s how the teams did it:
Islanders from New Jersey:
Kyle Palmieri (F) and Travis Zajac (F)
Demons received from New York:
AJ Greer (F), Mason Jobst (F), first round of 2021, fourth round of 2022 conditional
New Jersey will retain 50 percent of Zajac and Palmieri’s salaries.
Demon rating: B +
Tom Fitzgerald, the GM of demons, knows how to make moves. He made three deals on the expiration date (when it was provisional) last year, and when he sent Blake Coleman to Lightning and Andy Greene to those islands. This year he has exchanged two guys who will be indefinite free agents this summer for something they might miss out on.
NHL TRADE Tracker 2021: List of offers made before the deadline
With young network directors Jack Hughes, Ty Smith and Mackenzie Blackwood, Fitzgerald came out and added at least one other potential young star with that first-round pick. New Jersey now has nine chances in the 2021 draft, including two in the opening round. Greer is selected for the second round of 2015 and Jobst was unwritten; both were playing in Bridgeport with AHL.
“It sets us up very well for the future,” Fitzgerald told Zoom after the deal. “We feel that we have three very good solutions that can come and be developed within our development program and that these players are growing to be agents that we project ourselves.”
While the 2021 draft isn’t as deep as the 2020 one, the Devils can get a quality guy in the final part of the first round, and that’s where Fitzgerald hopes the fall will fall.
“I hope it’s the 32nd selection, really yes. I hope these two gentlemen can win a Cup and we’ll get the 32nd selection. I’d just like that,” he said.
Island rating: A-
The Icelanders lost captain Anders Lee because they were level with Brock Nelson to score the team’s goal (12) due to a knee injury that ended the season. According to Brian Compton of NHL.com, As Lou Lamoriello GM noted, after Lee went down the team responded (8-4-0), a move had to be made to help strengthen the lineup.
“I know what they bring on the ice,” Lamoriello said around his latest purchases. “I know what kind of people they are and what they bring to the locker rooms. Chemistry is very important to me.”
Lamoriello is best known for Zajac, who wrote in 2004 with the 20th overall selection for the Devils. The two-way center has spent its entire career at Garden State and has collected 550 points in 1,024 games. He also has 28 points in 57 playoff games, 14 points behind second-placed Devils 2012 Stanley Cup.
He’ll probably be one of the last six boys in Barry Trotz’s club, but what he brings as a veteran veteran – and that long knockout – isn’t right for the team. It should be noted that Zajac refused the no-trade clause to go to the island and that it is a short drive from NJ to Uniondale (which allows traffic), which was probably a big reason.
“I am very pleased with this opportunity,” Zajac said. “At [this] a point in my career and where I am, I want to win. I think it’s a team that has all the aspects of a winning hockey team and being able to be a part of it and try to help as much as possible … I think it was just the right moment. “
As for Palmieri, it was the cap of this deal. Before the move, he was considered one of the best players to expect a move. (TSN’s Trade Bait chart He was No. 2.) The 30-year-old winger has scored 17 points this season (34 games), but has consistently scored 20 goals in the previous five seasons. In 595 career games between Ducks and Devils, he has scored 183 goals and 172 assists. Changing the landscape and playing with people like Mat Barzal can spark his attack.
“Being a member of a team that has the opportunity to do something special and is something that every player wants.” Palmier told reporters. “That’s all you can ask for. I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”
In addition to joining a team that can do a long race in the final two seasons, Greene and Cory Schneider (taxi team) will be welcomed – from a social distance – by longtime friends and teammates.