The Devils recent shortened 56 game season has come and gone. It was another disappointing season for the Devils as they failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season. They finished the season with a record of 19-30-7. The team also only finished in seventh place in the East division with only 45 points. Now that the offseason has begun it’s time for the Devils to continue their rebuilding process and begin the search for new and potential trade targets.
It is time for the Devils to part ways with defensemen P.K. Subban. He does bring a leadership role to the team, but he has not produced enough offense. When the Devils first traded for him in the summer of 2019 they were high exceptions that he would add more offense to the team with his blistering slap shot. In his first two seasons with the Devils, he has only had a total of 12 goals. Since P.K Subban has not been living up to his expectations and the team is in a rebuilding mode they need to trade him for all that he is worth. There probably would not be a big return for him, but it’s time to move on.
The Buffalo Sabres are in a rebuilding mode as well. They could be a trading partner with the Devils. One player in mind that could be a helpful addition to the team is Rasmus Ristolainen. The Devils are in desperate need of defensemen and he could be a solid fit. Ristolainen only had 5 goals and 18 assists, but they could use him more as a defenseman that helps protect their blue line. The Devils were horrible in this recent season allowing opponents to cross their blue line. Ristolainen could be a helpful addition in that area.
The next option is unrealistic, but what if the Devils were to acquire Jack Eichel? It is clear that Jack Eichel wants to get traded from the Sabers and most likely he will be traded. This is a huge long shot for the Devils, but fun to imagine him being paired up with Jack Hughes on the Devil’s first forward line. Eichel is only 24 years old and having his extreme talent most likely makes the Devils rebuilding process go much faster. Eichel’s stats were impressive in his 2019-2020 season. He put up a total of 36 goals and 42 assists. It is extremely unlikely that he gets traded to the Devils but never say never.
Another Defensemen they could acquire is Thomas Chabot. Chabot is also only 24 years old and another young defenseman would be nice. Since he is young, the Senators could also decide to avoid trading him. If the Devils do acquire him he could be paired up with Ty Smith, whose game is still developing. Chabot did have a decent offensive season in 2018-2019. He recorded 14 goals with 41 assists. This could be a nice replacement for P.K. Subban. The Devils could use a defenseman that helps strengthen their power play. Since he does rack-up assists this could be helpful on a weak power-play that could use cleaner passes.
The Devils have a long offseason ahead of them and there are a lot of trade targets that they could go after. This offseason is hopefully their first step into becoming a contender. General manager Tom Fitzgerald needs to make the right trades to put the Devils on the right path.