The Devils sold off expandable pieces at the trade deadline. However, they could have got back more than they did.
The New Jersey Devils made three moves at the deadline. The moves saw them depart with two players they acquired before the start of the season, and a prospective defenseman. However, just because they fit the title of sellers, doesn’t mean it was a positive. The organization failed at the trade deadline, and could have done much more to build the team.
The first move the team made on March 1st was trading veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Dalton Prout. The move itself has questions. Quincey had been scratched from recent games, so it’s no question a move was coming. The question is though: Why was it straight up for Dalton Prout?
Prout has only played in 15 games this year. His most recent was on February 3rd against the Penguins, almost a month ago. The most amount of points he has ever had in a season is nine, which is a downgrade from Quincey’s 12 this season. Prout has shown no signs that he can be a top four defensemen, and is a downgrade from Quincey.
Next, the Devils sent P.A. Parenteau to the Nashville Predators for a 2017 sixth-round draft pick. At a cheap price, the Predators got a steal here from the Devils. Parenteau is coming off a season that saw him reach a career high in goals, and he is on pace to tie or surpass that number. A draft pick for a top-nine rental would be acceptable, but a sixth-rounder?
Parenteau was worth a third round draft pick at most. The fact the Predators were able to get him for a pick three rounds beneath that is astonishing. He can add depth to a team in need of a middle six winger. He was also a bright spot on an otherwise dismal Devils powerplay, tallying eight points.
The final move Jersey’s Team made, didn’t effect the main roster.
The team sent defensive prospect Reece Scarlett to the Panthers for AHL forward Shane Harper. Harper played 12 times for the Panthers this season, scoring twice in once game and adding one assist. In Springfield, he scored seven times, adding 12 assists in 39 games.
Harper has the potential to be a bottom six forward at best. He made his NHL debut at the beginning of the season, against the Devils. Harper provides Albany with speed, the strongest part of his game. Florida adds a young defenseman who can move the puck well with great defensive zone awareness.
What does it all mean?
So at the deadline the Devils added two players and added a draft pick. In the upcoming 2017 entry draft, the team has 11 draft picks. While it might seem like a good thing, the draft this year is not going to be known for it’s depth. Beyond Nico Hischier, Nolan Patrick, and Gabriel Vilardi there isn’t much hype as in years past. The general consensus among most mock drafts is that the Devils will end up with the 8th-overall pick.
In past years the Devils have had several draft busts.
Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby come to mind in recent years. While Pavel Zacha is in his first full season, he is still underperforming. While the Devils have a lot of picks in the upcoming draft, the lack of depth makes them less valuable. The team could have done better at the trade deadline.
The rebuild marches on, at a slugs pace.