Domingue to Vancouver; Vatanen headed to Carolina

The Devils made two late swaps before the 3 PM NHL trade deadline.

The team sent goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for goalie Zane McIntyre.

McIntyre is a 27-year-old, 6-foot, 2-inch 205 pounder with a 3.16 goals against average with the Utica Comets – the Canucks’ AHL affiliate. He is 11-10-2 in the American League right now. He will report to Binghamton as per the press release put out by the Devils.

McIntyre does have NHL experience, appearing in eight games with the Bruins in 2016-17.

Domingue’s tenure between the pipes for the Devils was not stellar. He finished with a 3-8-2 record appearing in 16 games since being acquired from the Lightning earlier in the season. He finished with an .882 save percentage and a 3.79 goals against average with the Devils.

In a separate deal, the Devils sent defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Fredrick Claesson, prospect Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Devils will also retain 50-percent of Vatanen’s salary.

The star of this trade is Kuokkanen, a 21-year-old forward who was picked 43rd overall in the 2016 NHL Draft (second-round). The 6-foot, 1-inch, 195-pound player is currently in the AHL where he was playing for the Charlotte Checkers. There he has 12 goals, 30 assists for 42 points over 52 games.

According to the Devils’ press release, he played in seven games at the NHL level for Carolina in 2018-19 and has appeared in eleven NHL games total.

He is a native of Oulunsalo, Finland and played in Finland for Karpat. He also played a year in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights. He won gold at the 2016 World Junior under-18 tournament and has represented Finland in the 2017 and 2018 World Junior Championships.

Claesson is a 27-year-old defenseman and currently has three goals, 16 assists for a total of 19 points for AHL Charlotte. He has played in 150 NHL regular season games for the Senators and Rangers. His NHL totals read six goals and 20 assists for 26 points.

Vatanen was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season. The conditions on the fourth-round pick have been reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN on Twitter as being based on how much Vatanen plays and if he stays healthy (he is currently on injured reserve). The Devils did not mention the condition in their press release.

Simmonds Dealt to Buffalo

The Wayne Train has been rerouted to Western New York.

Wayne Simmonds was traded today (the NHL Trade Deadline) to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

The Devils released a statement where they said that “New Jersey will retain 50% of Simmonds’ salary in the transaction.

The condition to the pick is that “if Simmonds plays in 10 regular-season games and Buffalo makes the playoffs, the selection then becomes Buffalo’s 2021 fourth-round selection.”

Simmonds signed a one-year deal with the Devils on July 1, 2019. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Simmonds had just played in his 900th NHL game this past Thursday versus San Jose.

According to the Devils’ press release, the team now has eight picks in 2021. Their own pick’s in rounds one, three, four, five and six. They also have the Islanders’ second-round pick, and the Coyotes’ third-round pick (conditional) from the Taylor Hall trade and the Sabres’ fifth-round pick (conditional) from this deal.

There is still time, as the deadline approaches at 3 PM, for the Devils to make another deal. Rumors have been swirling around both Sami Vatanen and Kyle Palmieri. We will see what develops there.

In another roster move done yesterday, the Devils signed Julian Melchiori to an NHL contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level. The contract runs through 2019-20. He was then placed on waivers after signing the contract. If not claimed, he will most likely stay in Binghamton for now.

He signed an AHL contract with Binghamton on July 22, 2019 according to the blog post on the Devils’ website by the PR team.

He has five goals, eight assists for 13 points in 54 games in Binghamton according to the blog post.