With the Winnipeg Jets currently shopping 25-year-old defenseman Jacob Trouba, all signs lead to a bidding war between the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, amongst other teams, to acquire his services.
Any trade will likely come at a steep cost, in terms of the combination of NHL-ready talent and key prospects, as well as the long-term contract Trouba and his agent Kurt Overhardt are seeking, which is rumored to be north of the $7.5 million per year mark over the next seven seasons.
That said, it might be wise for the Devils to take a pass and bow out of the Trouba sweepstakes if the asking price becomes way too high.
Potential Devils Trade Package
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the asking price out of Winnipeg is Jesper Bratt and one of Jesper Boqvist or Ty Smith from New Jersey.
While Bratt has solidified himself as a top-six NHL winger already, both Boqvsit and Smith remain unproven, but figure to be key pieces to the future core of the Devils.
Boqvist recently inked his entry-level deal with the Devils, and it appears as if the 20-year-old Swede is poised to have a big role in New Jersey starting next season. Due to an agreement in place between the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the Swedish Hockey League, since Boqvist signed a contract this offseason, he will either have to be on the Devils’ NHL roster or be sent back to compete in Sweden’s top league.
Ty Smith, the Devils first-round pick in 2018 is undoubtedly the best prospect in
Although the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Trouba is an elite puck mover, an incredible skater, can quarterback any top-unit power play and is among the NHL’s best defenseman, the asking price of Bratt and one of Boqvist/Smith is way too steep.
The Devils Do Have the Cap Space to Extend Trouba, But…
General manager Ray Shero and the Devils front office currently have over $35.6 million to work with under the current salary cap, the third-most behind only the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators.
That said, they do have enough money to shell out a rich contract to a guy like Trouba, but, they still need to keep an eye on their future spending to avoid handcuffing themselves and running into salary cap trouble later.
Other key core members such as Nico Hischier, Will Butcher, Mackenzie Blackwood, Pavel Zacha and Bratt, amongst others, are all set to become restricted free agents at some point over the next two seasons and will be in line for contract extensions as well.
As the 2019 NHL Entry Draft looms next weekend in Vancouver, BC and the July 1 opening of the free agent market shortly after, a plethora of teams
With the current asking price, I’m not sure the Devils should be one of them.
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