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.