Newark, NJ – In an interview with NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky last week, New Jersey Devils AGM Dan Mackinnon alluded to the possibility that Reilly Walsh could be traded. On Monday afternoon, the Devils traded Walsh to the Bruins in exchange for forward Shane Bowers.
Walsh (24) was drafted by the Devils in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft, 81st overall. The Farmington, MA native played just one game at the NHL level in 2021-22. He registered his first NHL point with a secondary assist on a goal by Nolan Foote.
Walsh is a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman that has appeared ready for the next step. However, he hasn’t been able to receive a promotion due to a strong Devils’ blueline. In 2021-22, Walsh registered nine goals and 43 points in the American Hockey League playing for the Utica Comets. He had an identical season in 2022-23 scoring nine goals and 41 points.
With the Bruins making changes and shedding salary, Walsh should be able to compete for regular NHL minutes for the Bruins.
On the receiving end, the Devils are getting a former first-round pick in Bowers.
His EliteProspects profile describes him as “dangerous as he takes a quick step out from the wall to the front of the net or comes from behind the net to get off a quick shot.”
Bowers was selected 28th overall by the Ottawa Senators at the 2017 NHL Draft. He was quickly traded to the Avalanche that November while playing in the NCAA for Boston University. The 23-year-old center has spent each of the last four seasons at the AHL level with one NHL game sprinkled in with the Avalanche. Bowers was traded at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline to the Bruins for goaltender Keith Kinkaid.
In 2022-23, Bowers scored eight goals and 13 assists in 57 games between the Colorado Eagles and Providence Bruins.
Like Walsh, Bowers is a restricted free agent and will need a new contract heading into the 2023-24 season.