Broad Street — New Jersey will have to go back to the drawing board regarding a blue-line Devils trade target.
Now former Calgary Flames defenseman, Nikita Zadorov, has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft (acquired from CHI) and a third-round pick in 2026.
Upon Zadorov’s initial trade request, New Jersey Hockey Now learned that the 6-foot-6 defenseman would have welcomed a trade to the Devils. Later, it was revealed by multiple reports that the interest between New Jersey and Zadorov was mutual.
However, it is the Canucks who are the beneficiaries of Zadorov’s trade request. In fact, it came relatively cheap.
According to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, in addition to New Jersey, the Toronto Maple Leafs had heavy interest in Zadorov. However, Toronto would have needed Calgary to retain some salary. Instead, the Canucks are absorbing Zadorov’s full cap hit.
It’s the second trade in less than a week for the Canucks. They also traded forward Anthony Beauvillier to the Chicago Blackhawks following the termination of Cory Perry’s contract. That move gave Vancouver the flexibility to upgrade their defense.
As for the Devils, they could certainly use an upgrade on the back end. The Flames don’t appear to be done dealing, either. They still have Chris Tanev who is reportedly available. The Devils have also shown interest in the 33-year-old defenseman.
In 21 games this season, Zadorov has accrued a goal and six points. He’ll trade his red jersey for blue and stay north of the border.
If the Devils are going to upgrade their defense, Zadorov is seemingly off the table.