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Devils Trade Targets: Trotz Changes Tune, Will Listen on Saros

Pierre LeBrun explains what he believe’s the asking price for Juuse Saros will be via trade. It’s not favorable for the Devils.

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“While combing through the New Jersey Devils’ goaltending options leading up to the March 8th NHL Trade Deadline, Nashville Predators GM Barry Trotz has changed his tune on goaltender Juuse Saros and they’ll now listen to offers for the 28-year-old goaltender. Before you get excited, it’s not what you think. Much like Calgary and Jacob Markstrom, it sounds like Trotz would need a massive offer to even entertain the idea.

Saros isn’t having his best season but his numbers look better than anyone on the Devils’ not named Nico Daws. Through 35 games this season, Saros has an 18-16-2 record with a 2.96 GAA and .903 SV%. However, Saros’ goals saved above expected is quite low, ranked 73rd overall at -4.6.

On the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun shed some light on Nashville’s thinking.

“Nashville has been so steady in saying their only plan is to extend Joust Saros this summer,” LeBrun explained. “And that remains their No.1 plan. But, what has changed since the start of the year is the number of teams desperate to upgrade their goaltending. And, because of that, I’m told that the Predators feel they have no choice but to listen if a team puts in a serious, serious offer.

“What I mean by that is don’t throw a couple of first-round picks which would be in the low 20’s at the Nashville Predators. That’s not going to get Barry Trotz to blink. Let’s take a name like Quinton Byfield as part of a package, that would get the attention of the Predators. Any organization, if they want to get in on Saros, it’s a huge name, they still plan to sign him, but it’s something to monitor before March 8th.”

Quinton Byfield, huh? That’s a big ask, especially given the fact that Nashville has Yaroslav Askarov ascending through their pipeline. The former second-overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft is in the midst of a breakout season with the Kings. The 21-year-old forward plays on the Los Angeles Kings’ first line alongside Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. The 6-foot-5, 220 lb forward has been an excellent all-around player this season. Through 42 games this season, the Newmarket, Ontario native scored 12 goals and 30 points.

If you’re looking for an equivalent value on the Devils in comparison to Byfield, it’s defenseman Simon Nemec. Nemec, also a former second-overall selection, is breaking out in the NHL himself this season.

As far as I’m told, Nemec is untouchable, therefore, it’s not a favorable match between the Predators and Devils in terms of a Saros deal. Not unless their price comes down for a goaltender with one year left on his contract ahead of unrestricted free agency and no guarantee he signs an extension.

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