In a recent article from sportsnet.ca the New Jersey Devils were discussed as a possible destination for Matt Duchene if he were to be traded. At this stage it is just a rumor and most likely it will not become reality but it is always fun to speculate. Especially if the Devils continue to be in the hunt for a playoff spot the addition of Duchene would really bolster the offense. It might require the Devils to mortgage the future a little but if Shero believes the Devils are for real this year it is an option he must at least consider.
Matt Duchene is an elite scoring center. With blazing speed and great stick handling he is among the most skilled scorers in the league. Plus Duchene is only 24 and is signed for the next 4 years to a team friendly 6 million per. His past year was a bit of a disappointment barely breaking 20 goals and ending with less than 60 points. It was also due in part last year was a disappointment for all of the Avalanche’s players. Right now the Avalanche are once again fading away at the bottom of the Western Conference. So now is as good a time as ever to attempt to retool. The Avalanche’s recent struggles over the past couple of seasons are probably the only reasons they would consider to trade a talent like Duchene.
The big question is if all the hypotheticals fall into place what would the Devils have to give? Right now the Avalanche are lacking defense. They have 3 good young defensemen in Gormley, Bairre, and Erik Johnson but beyond that the rest of the D-Core is pretty barren. The Devils have a plethora of young defensemen. The ones that are probably able to be traded are everyone but Larsson and Severson. The Devils also have many picks in the upcoming draft. So if a deal were to be structured it may look something like this:
To New Jersey
That would be a guess or estimation. It all depends on how much the Avalanche value Duchene. Do they look at his amazing skill set and wait it out or look at his production and drop him. For the Devils the question would be if it is really worth it? Would mortgaging the future for 3 years of a prime Duchene be worth the picks and loss of a couple defensive prospects. In my own opinion Duchene’s 25-28 years will be really good. He provides a lot of speed and skill to a line up that greatly needs a stud. Also having a Duchene would make New Jersey a more desirable place to come as a free agent. If I were the general manager I would make this deal. You can always fill out the holes left in the defense with Schlemko type players until players like Steve Santini, Colton White, Vojtech Mozik, and Reece Scarlett are NHL ready. What would give me hesitation would be if Colorado asked for a forward prospect. If we gave up one of our few forward prospects and Duchene walked after his contract was up it could leave us in a hole that is tough to climb out of.