Devils Trade Palmieri, Zajac to Islanders

The New York Islanders were aggressive before the upcoming NHL trade deadline and the Devils were the beneficiaries of that – at price.

Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac are now Islanders and the Devils got a good package back for them.

Let’s start with Palmieri. He was an unrestricted free agent to be and the Devils were unable to come to terms on a new contract with in exchange for him, the Devils essentially got a 2021 first-round Draft pick. The Devils will retain 50-percent of his salary. Palmieri had a modified no trade clause.

For Zajac, the Devils got a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 Draft and the Devils will likewise retain 50-percent of salary. Zajac had a full no trade clause in his contract and needed to waive it in order to be traded.

The Devils also obtained AJ Greer and Mason Jobst in the trade.

Greer is 24 years old, a 6-foot, 2-inch 205 pound left winger who was with the Bridgeport SoundTigers of the AHL. He has one goal and an assist over ten game in the American League. He has played 37 games at the NHL level where he has one goal and five assists (six points).

He was Colorado’s second round pick in 2015 (39th overall).

Jobst is 27, 5-foot, 8-inches, 185 pounds. He has two assists over six games with the SoundTigers.

Both players will report to the Binghamton Devils.

The real star of the trade is pretty much the first-rounder. It will be a low first-round pick because of how the Isles are doing and are likely to do, but it can always be flipped for an NHL caliber player. The Devils now have nine picks in the 2021 Draft (their own first rounder, third rounder, fourth rounder, sixth rounder, the Islanders’ first and second rounders, the Sabres’ fifth rounder and the Coyotes’ third and seventh rounders).

It’s sad to see these guys go. Palmieri was a great leader. A Jersey-raised guy who wore the Devils uniform with pride. Of course, he was born on Long Island so he has connections there. Through many of the lean years, Palms was one of the few reasons to get excited about the Devils. He will provide veteran leadership and scoring to New York.

Speaking of veteran leadership, Travis Zajac has that in droves. He just recently played in his 1,000th NHL game and can lead. He will give the Isles a lot of defensive forward prowess and will kill penalties and win faceoffs.

This move also gives Zajac a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Following 2012, you wanted to see him get another chance at winning. And to do it with ex/current teammate Andy Greene would be all the more sweeter.

Good luck to both guys on the Island. Let’s see how this plays out from a Devils perspective as well.

Devils Acquire Johnsson from Leafs

The Devils sent forward Joey Anderson to the Toronto Maple Leafs today in exchange for left winger Andreas Johnsson.

Johnsson has three years left on a contract with an average annual value of $3,400,000 according to the Devils Public Relations release on the subject.

Johnsson, a 5-feet, 10-inch, 195-pounder out of Gavle, Sweden, was the Leafs’ seventh-round choice (202nd overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 25-year-old had eight goals, 13 assists (21 points) to go with 14 penalty minutes over 65 games with Toronto last season. The press release also notes that he played in one of the Maple Leafs’ 2020 qualifying round playoff games against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He has 125 total NHL games under his belt over parts of four seasons, and has scored 30 goals, 37 assists for a career total of 67 points and 46 PIM to go with a plus/minus of plus-12. The press release says that his best season came in 2018-19 when he set career highs in goals (20), assists (23) and points (43) over 73 games played.

Johnsson also won a Calder Cup in the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies in 2018 – where he led all skaters in assists with 14 and points with 24. He was named the Calder Cup Playoff MVP that season as well.

He played in the Swedish Hockey League with Frolunda prior to coming to North America. With Frolunda, he won an SHL championship in 2016. He also totaled 104 points (57 goals, 47 assists) over 158 SHL games and was named the SHL Rookie of the Year in 2014.

For Sweden, he played internationally in the 2014 World Junior Championship, winning silver.

Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald had the following to say about Johnsson: “Andreas is a hard-working, competitive forward who can slot up and down the lineup. The overall versatility of his game will be a great compliment to our centermen, with his skating, quickness, and scoring touch.”