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What Would a Devils Trade for Juuse Saros Cost?

The cost of Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros is high. So what would the Devils need to give up?



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For now, it sounds like the New Jersey Devils are out on Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. However, the belief id that general manager Tom Fitzgerald will pivot on the goaltending market.

Nashville Predator general manager Barry Trotz was brutally honest a few days ago. In a radio interview with 102.5 The Game on Tuesday, the Preds GM disclosed he and Fitzgerald are in constant contact about Nashville’s goaltenders, specifically Juuse Saros. He also disclosed that the Predators have a strong hand in the situation.

“On goaltending, (Fitzgerald) always circles back, and I go, ‘Well this is what we need if we’re going to do something like that,’” Trotz said. “I’ve made it very public: It has to be something that will shake me a little bit and makes sense for both teams. I’m in no hurry to do it, I don’t need a goaltender –– he does. I keep reminding him of that. But he’s asset management, he’s doing his diligence around the league. And, as I said to (Saros), unless something knocks me backward, I’m always going to let him be in the fold.”

Trotz is out here playing chess. That was his invitation to the rest of the league looking for a goaltending upgrade to come and knock on Nashville’s door with a significant deal. Outside of the Devils, potential suitors for Saros are the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and perhaps the Edmonton Oilers. Trotz is looking to drive up a bidding war.

Elliotte Friedman disclosed what the Predators are looking for in a potential Saros trade.

“(Nashville is) looking for a high-end offensive player, and this is just me spit-balling, but I’ve wondered about a guy like (Martin) Necas,” Friedman said Tuesday on “The Jeff Marek Show.” “…That was the first guy out of my head because I think Carolina is going to have a challenge getting an extension done with him after this season. That to me, is one that on paper, I could look at it and say it’s a need for both teams.

“…If New Jersey is looking at a guy like Markstrom, they’re probably looking at Saros too. L.A. has got to be another team looking at [him]. … One guy who would seem to make some sense to me in L.A. is (Arthur) Kaliyev. He’s not playing…that makes sense to me as the kind of guy the Predators would look at, but you’re not making a Saros for Kaliyev trade. There’s a lot more to it than that.”

The fact of the matter is that Nashville is looking to cash in big time with one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. Nashville Hockey Now believes for Carolina, Necas alone won’t cut it. In addition to Necas, the Hurricanes would likely have to part with forward prospects Justin Robidas or Jayden Perron. And in LA, the Kings would have to include “Quinton Byfield or Alex Turcotte in addition to Kaliyev plus a high draft pick or two to even pique Trotz’s interest.” Pierre LeBrun echoed that sentiment via The Athletic in one of his recent rumblings.

So what does this mean for the Devils? Well, New Jersey’s most likely comparable they could trade is Dawson Mercer. The 22-year-old forward is a pending restricted free-agent and Preds head coach Andrew Brunette knows him well. Mercer hasn’t had the same 70-plus point breakout season as Necas, however, he’s three years younger and his extension is likely cheaper than Necas’.

Plus, the Devils are looking at forking over some combination of Alexander Holtz, Seamus Casey, and their first-round pick. All of which would be a significant hit to the Devils’ future.

Perhaps Fitzgerald can negotiate a lower cost of acquisition, but as of right now, Trotz is standing firm on his price for Saros in a potential Devils trade.

Despite the high acquisition cost, Saros undoubtedly would make the Devils a better team. He’s seen his fair share of struggles this year, however, he’s rebounded and is playing stronger lately. Just look at his 43-save performance a few nights ago against the Devils. Couple that with his history of maintaining a career .917 SV% and his absurd, league-leading 46.7 GSAx last season — per Moneypuck –, Saros could be the final piece missing to the Devils’ puzzle.

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