General manager Ray Shero is back at it again. It was announced about a half hour before the second day of the NHL draft that the New Jersey Devils acquired all-star defenseman P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators (see tweet below). It was confirmed soon after that the Devils will be sending defenseman Steven Santini, prospect defenseman Jeremy Davies, the 34th overall pick this year (second round), and a 2020 second-round pick back to Nashville.
It’s worth noting that the Predators are not retaining any salary. This means Subban’s annual salary of $9 million over the next three years will fully be on the Devils’ books. This may intimidate many, as that is a large chunk of salary to commit to a 30-year-old defenseman. But this should not be an issue given the great status of the Devils’ cap situation as they will still have $27,000,000 in cap space entering free-agency this year. They will also have plenty of money in the future to re-sign the likes of Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Jesper Boqvist, all while paying Subban.
Subban is going to come in and instantly be the Devils’ best defenseman. A quick look at his traditional statistics shows he’s a valuable presence – especially on the power play – offensively. Subban plays a ton of minutes – including the penalty kill – blocking shots and being physical. There is no surprise that his underlying numbers are also great. The chart above shows how much of a positive impact Subban has had in a plethora of different indicators of success for the team he plays for.
All-in-all, Shero made an absolute steal of a deal. As mentioned above, Subban automatically upgrades a Devils’ defensive core that has been troublesome for years. He did this while only giving up what many describe as a “B” prospect in Davies, a struggling fringe NHLer in Santini, and a second rounder this year and next. Keep in mind, the Devils still had two second and two third round picks in this draft.
Also, what may be the most important aspect of this deal is it goes above-and-beyond in sending a positive message to Taylor Hall. This deal not only dramatically improves the Devils but also helps greatly in the task in retaining and re-signing Hall to a long-term contract. Have yourself a day Shero!