Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac commerce grades: Devils ship duo to Islanders in mega deal

by akoloy

It is formally official: commerce season is right here.

With the NHL commerce deadline lower than every week away, a giant East Division swap went down Wednesday evening when Tri-State golf equipment, the Devils and the Islanders, traded gamers and picks. The New York squad snagged forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac whereas New Jersey acquired two minor leaguers and a few draft picks — one being a first-rounder.

It’s a very good deal for each golf equipment because the Devils inventory the cabinets and the Isles get two guys that might assist the Stanley Cup contenders up entrance. 

Here’s how the groups did:

Islanders obtained from New Jersey:

Kyle Palmieri (F) and Travis Zajac (F)

Devils obtained from New York:

A.J. Greer (F), Mason Jobst (F), 2021 first-round decide, 2022 conditional fourth-round decide

New Jersey will retain 50 % of each Zajac and Palmieri’s salaries.

Devils grade: B+

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald is aware of methods to make strikes. Last yr on the deadline (when he was the interim) he made three offers, and that was after he despatched Blake Coleman to the Lightning and Andy Greene to those similar Isles. This yr he traded two guys who shall be unrestricted free brokers this summer season, who they might have misplaced for nothing, for one thing. 

NHL TRADE TRACKER 2021: List of deals completed before the deadline

With a younger core together with Jack Hughes, Ty Smith and netminder Mackenzie Blackwood, Fitzgerald went out and added a minimum of another potential younger star with that first-round decide. New Jersey now 9 picks within the 2021 draft, together with two within the opening spherical. Greer is a 2015 second-round decide and Jobst went undrafted; each had been enjoying within the AHL with Bridgeport.

“It sets us up really well for the future,” mentioned Fitzgerald on Zoom after the deal. “We feel we got three really good prospects that can come in and develop under our development program and grow these players to be the players we project them to be.”

While the 2021 draft is not thought of as deep as 2020, the Devils may get a high quality man within the latter portion of the primary spherical, which is the place Fitzgerald is anticipating the decide to fall.

“I hope it’s the 32nd pick, I really do. I hope these two gentlemen can win a Cup and we get the 32nd pick. I would love nothing more than that,” he mentioned.

Islanders grade: A-

The Islanders misplaced captain Anders Lee, who was tied with Brock Nelson for the staff’s objective lead (12), to a season-ending knee harm in March. According to’s Brian Compton, GM Lou Lamoriello famous that the way in which the staff responded after Lee went down (8-4-0), he wanted to make a transfer to assist bolster the lineup.

“I know what they bring on the ice,” Lamoriello said relating to his latest acquisitions. “I also know what kind of people they are and what they bring to the locker room. Chemistry is extremely important to me.”

Lamoriello particularly is aware of Zajac who he drafted with the twentieth total decide in 2004 for the Devils. The two-way middle has spent his total profession within the Garden State and amassed 550 factors in 1,024 video games. He additionally has 28 factors in 57 playoff video games, together with 14 factors through the Devils 2012 Stanley Cup runner-up run.

He’ll most likely be a bottom-six man for Barry Trotz’s membership however what he brings as a grizzled veteran — and that lengthy playoff run — is intangible to the squad. It needs to be famous that Zajac waived his no-trade clause to go to the Island and contemplating it is a brief drive (site visitors allowing) from NJ to Uniondale, it was most likely a giant motive why. 

“I’m extremely excited for this opportunity,” mentioned Zajac. “At [this] point in my career and where I’m at, I want a chance to win. I just believe this is a team that has all the aspects of a winning hockey team and to be able to try and be a part of that and help them in any way possible … I think it was just, for me, it was the right time.”

As for Palmieri, he was the blue-chip on this deal. Before the transfer, he was thought of one of many prime gamers anticipated to be moved. (TSN’s Trade Bait board had him at No. 2.) The 30-year-old winger has solely potted 17 factors this season (in 34 video games) however he is persistently notched 20-plus targets in every of the earlier 5 seasons. In 595 profession video games between the Ducks and Devils, he has 183 targets and 172 assists. A change of surroundings, and enjoying with the likes of Mat Barzal may spark his offense.

“The opportunity to go and be a part of a team that has a chance to do something special is something every player wants,” Palmieri told reporters. “That’s all you can ask for. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.”

Aside from becoming a member of a staff that might go on a protracted postseason run, the 2 latest Islanders will even be welcomed — from a social distance — outdated pals and teammates Greene and Cory Schneider (taxi squad).

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