Islanders Acquire Palmieri and Zajac From The Devils

by | Apr 7, 2021 | News, NHL, Rumors | 13 comments

The New York Islanders acquired right-wing Kyle Palmieri and center Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for their 2021 first-round draft pick, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 and minor league forwards A.J Greer and Mason Jobst.

New York Islanders acquire Kyle Palmieri & Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils also retained half of Palmieri’s $4.65 million cap hit and half of Zajac’s $5.5 million cap hit. Both are due to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Zajac waived his no-trade clause to facilitate this deal.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello signals his club is all-in for the Stanley Cup this season. This move provides additional depth and experience to his forward lines for what could be another deep postseason run.

Palmieri was the prize here. A five-time 20-plus goal scorer who plays with an edge, he should fit in well with head coach Barry Trotz’s system. He won’t replace sidelined captain Anders Lee’s offense but his energetic style should be a good fit on either wing among the Islanders’ top-six.

Zajac, 35, is past his prime as a top-six two-way center but he should slot in somewhere on the Islanders’ checking lines. His leadership and experience should prove invaluable.

The Devils did well to get a first-round pick for Palmieri, even though it will be among the bottom third of the first round. Zajac’s declining value accounts for why they got a conditional fourth in next year’s draft. Greer and Jobst will likely head to the Devils’ farm team as they give more playing time to their promising youngsters for the remainder of the season.


  1. Gotta say a great move by the Islanders. The Islanders are already scored against very little, so being able to add two guys onto the roster that have the chance to contribute offensively without losing any roster pieces is big. KP, quickly slides into the top 6 on the wing, and Zajac should improve an already impressive set of checking lines and provide even more depth down the middle.

    Normally don’t think trade deadline deals do all that much, but this is one of those instances where I think the additions make a lot of sense and bolsters the depth of the club. Devils add a first round pick in what will be such a gamble of a draft due to scouting that it could be an utter failure or a massive steal! Great deal for both teams. Will be interesting to see how teams respond with a couple of days to look at this deal.

    • That’s my take, too.

      • As the resident Isles STH here, I am thrilled.

        The number 25-32 pick, 2 slugs and a 4 th.

        KP will light it up with Barzal’s passes and Travis Z will be the new Swiss Army Knife.

        Did I mention that I was THRILLED!!!!!!

      • Great move by Lamoriello, Bob. And if anyone can get the very best out of Palmieri and Zajak it’ll be Trotz.

        The only question is, will Palmieri be allowed to keep that bush on his face now that he’s playing for Lou?

    • There must be a comfort factor as well for Palmieri and Zajac, being longtime teammates, to be traded together. I would think that makes the transition easier.

      Great swap by both clubs.

  2. This should be a sign that Sabres will get a first for Hall. Palmieri isn’t worth a first.

    • @Jammerz – Yep, this IS a sign Sabres will get a 1st for Hall… if they include Montour.

  3. Between this and the Eric Staal trade, definitely seeing some overall low prices thus far. Great pick up for the Islanders.

  4. The non stop linking of Palmieri to the Bruins scan stop now….someone wake Sweeney/Neely up

    • For sure…at least until he is a FA this summer!

      • It was plastered all over the Boston Sports for the last month or more …..I believe he gets around 4+ million per and probably will want 6 for 4 ….that will eliminate the Bruins fro chasing after him

      • Replace “will eliminate” with “should eliminate” and I agree.

  5. Good depth move for the NYI but like the article says TZ is past his prime which isn’t a bad thing but he has better stats than Palmarie lol I’m sooooooo glad it didn’t read KP to Bruins for a first Fredrick and Shen. I’m on the Dustin Brown train I’d much rather him than Hall or Palmarie. We need a top 4 D man more than a forward especially with Carlo week to week.