New Jersey Devils notes on Paval Zacha, Cory Schneider, the 2020 NHL draft, and maybe some potential trade targets
Corey Masisak of The Athletic: New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha has two years left on his deal at $2.25 million per. At that number, putting up 35-40 points as a third-line center, killing penalties could be worth it, but not as much if he’s used as a wing. If he has a good year next season, he could be a long-term option, If not, he could be traded. He’d still be a restricted free agent at the end of his deal. The 2020 draft could land them a center, so that could play into it as well.
It’s not often, especially of late, that a team trades two first-round picks to move up in the draft. The Devils own three first-round picks.
If the Devils use a regular buyout on goaltender Cory Schneider, he’d carry a $2 million cap hit for the next four seasons. He’s got two years left at $6 million. They’d likely keep him for at least one more year as they don’t really need the salary cap space. They could sign another veteran goaltender to push Schneider, and if that goaltender beats out Schneider, he goes to the AHL and you revisit things the following offseason.
Corey Masisak of The Athletic: (mailbag) If the New Jersey Devils end up with the third overall pick and Alexis Lafreniere and Tim Stutzle go one-two, the Devils should take Quinton Byfield. If Lafreniere-Byfield go one-two, who they took at three would likely be who they rate higher between Stutzle and Jamie Drysdale.
If Drysdale is viewed as a future No. 1 defenseman and Stutzle is a top-line winger, would go Drysdale.
There have been no reports of the Devils interviewing GM candidates while the season is on hold. If there were to do some, and potential candidates were still under contract, they’d need to get permission. It would be hard to hire a GM when you can’t really meet them face-to-face.
The Devils could be looking to add an impact defenseman this offseason. Don’t think they’ll be looking to add a late-20/early 30-year old defenseman. Think about what the New York Rangers did by acquiring Jacob Trouba.
If the Devils were to trade one of their first-round picks, would think that they would have to land someone who would have the potential to be a top-pairing defenseman or top-line winger.