Devils Acquire Defenseman Jaros

The Devils today announced that they have acquired and come to terms on a contract with defenseman Christian Jaros. He was traded from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Nick Merkley.

The Devils also announce that they came to terms with restricted free agent Jaros. He signed a one-year, $800,000 deal at the NHL level. The contract is worth $275,000 at the AHL level.

The 25-year-old, according to the press release put out by the Devils, spent last season with the Sharks and the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. He played seven games at the NHL level, gaining one assist. In the AHL, he had three assists over 11 games.

The press release says that the right-handed shot has played “the last four seasons between the NHL and AHL, with the prior three years being in the Ottawa Senators organization.”

He had a goal and nine assists for 10 points – career highs – in 2018-19. He also had career highs in penalty minutes (27) and NHL games played (61) with the Senators.

His NHL totals read: one goal and 13 assists (14 points) and 35 penalty minutes over 83 games with San Jose and Ottawa. In the AHL, he has 90 total games with five goals and 29 assists (34 points) and 59 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 220-pounder was born in Kosice, Slovakia. He was chosen 139th overall in the fifth round in 2015 by the Senators out of Lulea in Sweden “and with HC Kosice organization in Slovakia.”

He appeared in the 2015 World Juniors or Slovakia – where he won bronze. He has also played for Slovakia at the 2016 World Junior Championship and the World Championship in 2018 and 2019.

Devils Trade for Graves

The Devils late yesterday made a deal with the Colorado Avalanche, sending forward Mikhail Maltsev and the New York Islanders’ second-round pick in the next week’s Draft (61st overall) westward for defenseman Ryan Graves.

Graves, a 6-feet, 5-inch, 220-pound blueliner has two years remaining on his contract, with an AAV (average annual value) of $3,166,667.

Devils general manager and executive vice president Tom Fitzgerald said “Ryan brings physicality, size, an ability to defend in tough situations and a fearless compete level that makes him tough to play against. His assertive style of play and ability to play with young defensemen are characteristics that fit into what we are building with our group.”

The 26-year-old defender had two goals and 13 assists (15 points) and 55 penalty minutes over 54 games last season with the Avs. Add that to a goal and five assists (six points) over ten games in the 2021 playoffs for Colorado. He led the Avs in “short-handed time on ice per game (3:18), penalty minutes (55), blocked shots (91)” and was second in hits with 77. The press release notes that his shorthanded time TOI “per game ranked third the League and his penalty minutes total ranked 14th.”

Graves, a native of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was the Rangers’ fourth-round pick in the 2013 Draft (110th overall). Over 136 NHL games (over three seasons), all played with the Avalanche, he has a total of 46 points (14 goals and 32 assists). The press release also says that “[o]ver the past two seasons, he ranks 11th in short-handed time on ice per game. In 2019-20, he led the NHL in plus/minus at +40, also ranking tops in the League over the past two years (+55) and sixth in the past three years (+59). In Stanley Cup Playoff games he’s added two goals, seven assists with 16 penalty minutes and a +14 rating.”

He played previously in the AHL with the Hartford WolfPack (Rangers organization), the San Antonio Rampage and Colorado Eagles (Avalanche organization). Over 260 AHL games, he had 24 goals and 53 assists (totaling 77 points) and 221 penalty minutes. He was an AHL midseason All-Star in 2016.

With the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, he won a Memorial Cup in 2015.