New Jersey Devils have traded forwards Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick. The conditions of the pick are if Henrique re-signs before the 2019 NHL Draft, Devils get Ducks’ 2019 third round pick, if he re-signs after the draft, Devils get their 2020 third round pick, and if he doesn’t re-sign at all, no pick is traded.
This comes as a surprise to many given the Devils current standings in their division. They’re third in the Metro but only by a point or two. The Devils have started out this season strong and have continued their pace so far, so it’s odd to many that they traded one of their star forwards for a defensemen. Henrique has been with the team since he was drafted ten years ago. He does a lot for the community and is a great veteran leader for many of the young players on the team.
This isn’t a case of a salary dump or anything that has to do with the cap. Almost equal salary is going both ways.
“In acquiring Sami, we bring on a right shot, top-four defenseman who can play in all situations,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said. “This move also gives us contract certainty on the back end for the next two-plus years. When acquiring a defenseman like Vatanen, you have to give back quality assets or players in return. That is the case in this situation with Adam and Joe. Adam has been a key member of our organization for nearly 10 years since he was drafted. His contributions both on and off the ice will always be appreciated by our organization and fans. For Joe, this is a great opportunity with a quality organization like Anaheim and I am happy for him.”
Position: center (played as LW for Devils)
Line-up spot: second line
Stats: 4 goals, 10 assists
Line-up spot: second, third pairing
Stats: 1 goal, 3 assists
Joseph Blandisi is 23 years-old and played center for the Devils’ AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Devils. He has 3 goals and 11 assists.
With this trade, the Devils are addressing their much evident weak blue line problem and the Ducks are battered with injuries, so to give up their second, sometimes third, pairing defensemen for a center is great for them. But is it great for the Devils? Is giving up Henrique, a dependable forward and veteran leader, worth a guaranteed defense contract?
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