The New Jersey Devils made two trades at the NHL’s March 1st trade deadline. General Manager Ray Shero dealt defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Dalton Prout and sent forward PA Parenteau to the Nashville Predators for a 6th round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Quincey for Prout is more of a lateral move. Some fans have been speculating already that Prout was acquired as an extra defenseman to expose in this coming summer’s Expansion Draft, when the Vegas Golden Knights officially join the league. The thought process there is that the Devils are set in terms of the younger guys (Santini, Merrill, etc.) and, since they need to expose two defensemen, Prout gives them an extra player to make available to Vegas on the blue line. Otherwise, it is just a one for one swap for similar type players. One other theory making the rounds is that Shero is giving Quincey a chance to move to a contender as the 31 year-old veteran defenseman looks to get his name on the Stanley Cup for the first time. Columbus is certainly in a position to win and Quincey certainly have a good chance there.
The deal for PA Parenteau was a little bit more complicated. He has an injured finger, which some are saying hurt his trade value. It was also not really a seller’s market this year and the Devils were lucky to get what they were able to for Parenteau. Shero and the Devils also wanted to get something for Parenteau, as they essentially got him for nothing from the Islanders off waivers at the start of the season and he was set to be a free agent this summer. The Devils would rather essentially have gotten a 6th rounder than have him walk for nothing according to Mike Morreale of NHL.com.
In one other late move, the Devils acquired forward Shane Harper from the Florida Panthers for defenseman Reece Scarlett. Scarlett was playing for the Albany Devils of the AHL and that is also where Harper will report, according to the team.
Overall, it was a relatively successful trade deadline in that it gave the Devils a chance to cut some of the older deadwood and gives a chance for the younger players the Devils have been eager to develop. You ultimately cannot become a good NHL player unless you get playing time in the NHL and the Devils know it is a long shot at best that they make the playoffs this season. Looking to the future is always a good idea and that is exactly what New Jersey was doing at this year’s trade deadline.