A look at possible offseason moves by the New Jersey Devils, which could include trading one of their young defensemen.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello faces a tall task rebuilding his club this summer. Among his priorities will be trying to add two scoring forward to a team desperately in need of more offense. Noting this summer’s UFA market is thin on scoring forwards, Gulitti speculates Lamoriello will have to go the trade route to address this need. The Devils GM admitted he was shopping for a scorer at the March trade deadline but couldn’t find a willing trade partner. It remains to be seen if Lamoriello will use his first-round pick in this year’s draft as trade bait or if he’ll shop one of his young defensemen with a draft pick or two.
Gulitti speculates pending UFA forwards Scott Gomez and Jordin Tootoo might be re-signed, while Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat probably won’t be back. To get younger and faster at forward, Gulitti speculates a buyout of Dainius Zubrus might be necessary. It remains to be seen if oft-injured forward Ryane Clowe will retire or attempt a comeback. It also appears unlikely defenseman Bryce Salvador will be re-signed.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere recently reported Devils blueliner Eric Gelinas acknowledged the possibility he or another of his fellow young Devils defensemen (like Adam Larsson, Damon Severson and Jon Merrill) could be shopped this summer for a scoring forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Chere points out, the Devils have a solid defensive corps in goalie Cory Schneider and their young blueliners. They can afford to part with one of those defensemen if there’s a deal for a young scoring forward to be had. The problem, however, will be finding a club deep in scoring which needs blueline depth. Lamoriello might have better odds if he puts his first-round pick on the trade block. He’s shown a willingness to do this in the recent past, using his first rounder in the 2013 NHL draft to land Schneider from Vancouver. Unless the Devils win the draft lottery, their pick will likely be sixth overall, which could prove enticing for teams lower in the first round or to those without a first rounder. If the Devils win the lottery they’ll undoubtedly select Connor McDavid, making their quest for more scoring that much easier.