The Devils have sent Brian Boyle to the Nashville Predators in exchange for the Preds’ second pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
The Devils put out a press release on the trade, mentioning that the forward “spent the past two seasons with New Jersey” as he signed as a free agent with the team in the summer prior to the 2017-18 season, coming over from the Maple Leafs.
According to the release, Boyle tallied 26 goals and 42 points for the Devils “in 116 games.” After being diagnosed with leukemia prior to the 2017-18 season and fighting back to compete that same season, Boyle was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for exemplifying “the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” He also represented the Devils in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa, replacing an injured Taylor Hall.
According to the press release, the Devils will now have eight selections in the 2019 Draft. They will have all of theirs from rounds four through seven, plus their first round pick, two seconds – theirs and now Nashville’s – as well as Anaheim’s third. Always a good thing to have a stockpile of draft picks.
Ray Shero was quoted as saying “(w)e want to thank Brian for his time here, as he was a big part of helping establish the culture we now have in place. His leadership, dedication and determination served as an inspiration to the entire organization, on and off the ice. We wish him, his wife, Lauren, son; Declan and daughter Isabella the best of luck in Nashville.”
While it is sad to see Boyle go, it is a trade that works for all parties. Nashville gets a proven leader both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Boyle has not missed the playoffs since 2009-10 and has made the playoffs every year since. He has been to two Stanley Cup Finals (2014 with the Rangers and 2015 with the Lightning) and is a proven leader and performer in that tough time of year. The Devils also get a draft pick and get room to get younger while Boyle himself is in a position to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career. He goes from a team that is far out of the playoff race to a team that is a legit contender in the West.
Good luck to Brian Boyle as he starts this new chapter in his career.