As the Devils approach the trade deadline, they remain outside of the playoff picture. With the way things have gone this year, the team will most likely have to look beyond this season for any future playoff hopes (regardless of how tight the standings in the Eastern Conference are). While the most common trade chips for non-contending teams are veterans or rental players, younger prospects (as we saw with the Devils last trade deadline) can also valuable commodities. Here are three prospects the Devils might be willing to part ways with at the deadline if the right deal comes along.
Joe Blandisi: Many expected Blandisi to build upon a strong rookie campaign but injuries and a slow start in the AHL have kept him off the Devils roster. Blandisi has a plethora of offensive abilities but his defensive game was what was lacking last season. He has played well in Albany this season (26GP 7G 21P), which could only brighten his appeal in a potential trade scenario. All things considered, Blandisi is young enough and has the offensive skills that give him substantial value in the trade market. Blandisi can potentially be moved in a deal for a 4-6th defenseman or NHL-ready defensive prospect.
Josh Jacobs: One of the organization’s few remaining defense prospects with promise, Jacobs has played all of this year in Albany. He’s struggled to put up points in his first AHL season with only four assists in 24 games, but is only 21-years old and still young enough to fulfill his NHL potential. If the right deal comes along however, Jacobs could definitely be an option for an NHL team looking to build a future blue line if it’s worth Ray Shero’s while. Despite Jacobs’ value (considering New Jersey’s bleak defenseman prospect pool), he could go to a team that’s willing to part ways with an NHL-ready asset.
Ken Appleby: The Devils find themselves with a surplus of young goaltending prospects. Appleby has posted very impressive numbers in his first full season with Albany (12-6-0 with a 1.89 GAA and .927 SV%). He is also very young for a goalie (21) and in the beginning stages of his development at the professional level. Many teams are looking for young goaltending, and the Devils could fill this need while acquiring pieces for the future. Considering how Shero has made some stunning moves that seemingly came out of left field since he took over as general manager, he could very well pull a similar stint at the deadline amid the league’s growing goalie market.