The Nashville Predators have traded veteran defender P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenders Steve Santini and Jeremy Davies as well as two second-round picks, according to Elliotte Friedman. No salary was retained as a part of this deal, according to Pierre LeBrun, which probably accounts for the low return received by the Predators.
What a weekend for the Devils who selected a potential generational talent in Jack Hughes with the first overall pick on Saturday and then acquire Subban, one of the NHL’s top-flight offensive defenseman, less than 24 hours later.
Subban had the worst statistical season of his career in 2018-19 at the age of 29 but still scored nine goals and 31 points in 63 games with the Predators. He’s proven throughout his career to be one of the elite offensive talents from the back-end and adds a significant presence to the Predators blue-line that sorely needed an upgrade.
This is a significant move for both teams as the Predators not only clear off Subban’s cap space from their books, a hefty $9 million average cap hit for each of the next three seasons, but they also acquired two second-round picks and a talented 22-year-old defender in Davies who just finished his NCAA career with Northeastern.
In 37 games this past season, the 5-foot-11, 188-pound blueliner scored eight goals and 36 points. He scored six goals and 35 points in 36 games the season prior.
In the end, the Devils got very good value for a player who probably should have commanded a far more significant return despite his contract. This is good news for a young team that’s picked first overall in two of the last three years and is primed to start taking a step forward with some of their prolific talent at the forefront of the discussion.
Subban Trade Will Have Ripple Effect on NHL
While the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes may have had the biggest trade of the draft weekend for all of five minutes, the Predators and Devils immediately took their thunder and announced this huge trade that will likely have a huge ripple effect on the NHL through both free agency and in the regular season.
For Nashville, this gives the team cap flexibility to extend captain Roman Josi, whose contract expires after the 2019-20 season, while also giving them room to chase a big free agent like Matt Duchene.
For the Predators, this solidified their place as an up-and-coming team with some serious talent to spare in a Metropolitan Division that could prove to be the most competitive division from top to bottom for the entirety of the 2019-20 season.
Subban is now set to enter his 10th official season in the NHL with his third team after starting his career with the Montreal Canadiens and spending the last three seasons with the Predators.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.