The Devils’ massive overhaul started when they traded Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a collection of draft picks, prospect Nick Merkley, and prospect Kevin Bahl. Then, the front office teardown began, as they fired GM Ray Shero and Coach John Hynes after the Devils’ sluggish start. The Devils entered this season with high expectations, instead, they find themselves with a 21-25-10 record which puts them in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
The Devils have a multitude of players they could trade at this year’s deadline, as they continue to rebuild around their pair of #1 overall picks Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. On defense, teams have been inquiring about 25-year old Damon Severson, 28-year old Sami Vatanen, 30-year old P.K. Subban, and the Devils’ 37-year old Captain Andy Greene (salary retention would most likely have to occur in any Subban or Greene deal). Vatanen and Greene become unrestricted free agents on July 1st, while Subban and Severson both have multiple years remaining on their contracts. Subban makes the most money of the bunch at $9 million per year, followed by Greene at $5 million, Vatanen at $4.875 million, and finally Severson at $4.166 million.
Sami Vatanen has a respectable -0.63 career AB score over a 6-year period of data. He is coming off two negative individual seasons in a row (both career lows at -3.33, -3.36). He has an impressive penalty taken/drawn ratio for a defenseman at 10:8, as well as an equally impressive 24:14 giveaway/takeaway ratio for the position despite averaging almost 30 seconds more ice time per night than his previous career average of 21:08. Vatanen has also a -12 +/- rating. Andy Greene also has a respectable career AB score with a -0.75 score over a 12-year data period, however, he is coming off of three straight negative seasons. He has an impressive 6:4 penalty taken/drawn ratio, playing about a minute less than his career average of 21:34. Greene has a 32:12 giveaway/takeaway ratio but is an impressive +3, which is among the higher +/- ratings on the Devils. P.K. Subban was expected to be the quarterback of the Devils powerplay and continue to produce high offensive numbers. He has failed to do so with 13 points in 55 games with the Devils this season. Subban has a -1.5 career AB score but has the worst giveaway/takeaway ratio on the team with a 54:16 ratio. He has among the worst penalty taken/drawn ratio on the Devils with a 22:8 ratio. He is also -15, which is also among the worst on the Devils. Damon Severson is the D-man most teams are interested in, however. He is the youngest of the group at 25-years of age. Interestingly enough, he has by far the worst career AB score of the group with a -5.87 score over a 4-year period, never registering a positive season in that span. He is coming off a career-low -8.39 individual score as well. Severson has a decent penalty drawn to taken ratio at 12:6, but the second-worst giveaway/takeaway ratio on the team with a 44:27 ratio. Like Subban, Severson is also -15.
In addition to this defense group, the Devils are also looking to move forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Palmieri. Simmonds is an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, while Palmieri still has another year remaining on his deal. Salary wise, Simmonds makes about 500k more than Palmieri, but Palmieri is under team control for another season. Palmieri has always been one of the better AB performers throughout his career, as he has a +1.92 career score over a 9-year data period. He is coming off his worst season AB wise at -1.41, which is still respectable. Simmonds has a -0.96 career score, with four straight negative seasons over an 11-year period. Palmieri and Simmonds actually have the same 12:9 penalty taken/drawn ratio, but Simmonds has the higher of the two giveaway/takeaway ratios with a 16:21, compared to Palmieri’s 20:25. Simmonds has a low +/- with a -14, while Palmieri has the best +/- on the Devils with +4. It will surely be interesting to see what the new-look Devils without a set general manager, do this trade deadline as assistant coach Tom Fitzgerald is currently the interim. Much more to come, as the trade deadline just keeps getting closer.