GM Reveals Targets, Price of Devils No. 10 Pick in Trade Offers

The New Jersey Devils, through general manager Tom Fitzgerald, are open for business and have made their No. 10 pick in the 2024 draft available in trade offers.

Speaking to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun at the NHL combine on June 4, Fitzgerald told the insider that he is “willing to move the pick” if the Devils get “the right asset” in return.

“Yeah, definitely,” Fitzgerald said when asked if he would trade pick 10. “I am more than willing to make the choice for the right property. One that we monitor, one that’s probably in the same demographic as our team – maybe not 23, 24 years old, but someone we’ve been monitoring for a few years.

To avoid falling for tampering, Fitzgerald did not mention a specific player during his conversation with LeBrun. That said, it’s clear what the Devils are chasing next season: a starting goaltender.

LeBrun cited “league sources” who informed him of the Devils’ interest in two individual goaltenders.

“While Fitzgerald declined to comment on names, other league sources said he continues to express interest in Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames, whom he tried hard to acquire before the March 8 trade deadline, as well as Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins . LeBrun reported on June 5. “There are other possibilities, but these two names would be at the top of New Jersey’s list.”

Devils are actively trying to move number 10 as goalkeeper

Fitzgerald acknowledged the challenges associated with acquiring a high-caliber goalkeeper. However, he didn’t hide his active search for a starter via trade during the offseason, starting by exploring the market at the combine in Buffalo.

“It’s talking to the market and gauging where people are with their goaltenders and what they want to do,” he said. “If you’re good at goaltending, it’s hard to let go, and it’s hard to pry people loose.”

While the Devils “have other roster needs,” as LeBrun reported in his story, their priority is acquiring a new goaltender. Whether that happens, or rather when it happens, may “depend on the sequence of offseason events.”

The Devils rebuilt their net before the March 8 trade deadline.

New Jersey sent Vitek Vanecek to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Kaapo Kahkonen. Fitzgerald then completed another trade by acquiring veteran Jake Allen from the Montreal Canadiens.

Devilishly Interested in Jakob Markstrom and Linus Ullmark

Neither of their two trade deadline acquisitions for the goaltender position are considered the long-term starter in New Jersey’s net. So the priority (acquiring a bona fide No. 1 goaltender) remains the same in the offseason.

“It is my understanding that Markstrom would waive his entire no-move clause to go to New Jersey,” LeBrun reported on June 5, citing a league source.

The Devils tried to trade for Markstrom before the trade deadline, but his current team, the Calgary Flames, did not accept a salary.

New Jersey submitted a second offer without the salary retention requirement, but the Flames again rejected it, as LeBrun reported on March 1.

Markstrom has played 425 of 435 games since becoming a bona fide starter in the 2015-16 season while playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

In the 2024 season, Markstrom started 48 regular-season games, stopping 90.5 percent of the shots he faced and allowing an average of 2.78 goals against.

The Flames netminder has two seasons left on his contract, each valued at a $6 million cap hit.

A trade for Linus Ullmark would help the Bruins & Devils

Linus Ullmark had a standout year in 2023, posting a .924 save percentage and winning the Vezina Trophy award for the best NHL netminder. According to LeBrun, he is the other potential target on New Jersey’s radar.

A trade involving Ullmark could have significant ramifications for the Boston Bruins, as The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa outlined in a story published on June 6.

“Releasing Ullmark’s average annual value of $5 million and receiving futures in return would be a satisfying conclusion,” Shinzawa wrote. “Perhaps the New Jersey Devils, who have expressed interest in trading the No. 10 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, would be a landing spot for the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner.”

This move would also clear the way for Jeremy Swayman to become Boston’s No. 1 goaltender without any timesharing, as has been the case for the past two years. It will also open the door for prospect Brandon Bussi to serve as Swayman’s true backup.

However, Ullmark should remove New Jersey from his no-trade list. The list currently contains 16 teams, but on July 1 there will be 15.

The Bruins netminder posted a .915 save percentage over 40 games played during the 2024 regular season. He posted a 2.57 goals against average, but was relegated to a sub-par role in the playoffs, starting just one game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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