The New Jersey Devils have been one of the most surprising teams so far in the 2017-18 NHL season. Predicted to finish at or near the bottom of the standings for a second straight season, the Devils have been stellar this season thanks to rookie contributors like Jesper Bratt, 2017 1st overall selection Nico Hischier and NCAA star Will Butcher. Cory Schneider looks like his old self in goal and Taylor Hall has fit in perfectly with head coach John Hynes’ system. Even Adam Henrique looks to have regained his scoring touch with four goals and 12 points in 20 games.
In fact, it’s Henrique’s uptick in production that has led to him becoming the source of trade rumors. While productive, the Devils blue line is still remarkably thin. Led by Butcher, Andy Greene Damon Severson and John Moore, the team’s defense corps could use an upgrade.
In his latest mailbag segment for NJ.com reporter Chris Ryan takes a look at some potential trade targets for the Devils on the blue line, using Henrique as the centrepiece of a huge trade. Among the targets are Sami Vatanen of the Anaheim Ducks, Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings, Luca Sbisa of the Vegas Golden Knights, Jonas Brodin of the Minnesota Wild and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche.
Of those listed above, don’t be surprised if the Devils hook up with Vegas on a deal for Sbisa. He’s likely the cheapest defender in the group and we know that Vegas is looking to make a deal. Still… Vatanen and Barrie are intriguing names and could totally transform the Devils’ defense corps.