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NHL Trade Deadline

NHL Trade Deadine: Devils Division Rival Sells Top Defenseman to Avalanche

The Philadelphia Flyers traded top defenseman Sean Walker to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a conditional first-round pick and Ryan Johansen.



New Jersey Devils

In a bit of good news for the New Jersey Devils, the Philadelphia Flyers have traded top defenseman Sean Walker to the Colorado Avalanche.

According to multiple reports leading up to Wednesday afternoon’s trade, the Flyers were wrestling with trading one of Walker or Nick Seeler. At one point, the belief was Philly could trade both defensemen, perhaps as a pair, but that has since been debunked.

In exchange for Walker, the Flyers received forward Ryan Johansen and a first-round selection in 2025. The Flyers placed Johansen on waivers upon acquisition. The 2025 first-round pick is top-10 protected, in which case it would slide to 2026.

The Flyers are on the record stating that although they are in playoff position and will continue to try and win games in order to play in the spring, Philly general manager Daniel Breier is playing the long game in the retool for Philadelphia.

In the case of the Devils, this works out in their favor.

Despite firing former Devils head coach Lindy Ruff on Monday, GM Tom Fitzgerald explained he believes his team can find their way back to playoff position this season.

“I don’t ever think it’s it’s ever too late,” Fitzgerald said Monday morning. “We do have a small window here. I believe in the group, I believe that if we play the right way, and can give ourselves a chance to be in every single game by again the details, knowing who we are as individual players, and playing to our strengths, we leave everything out on the line, why can’t we put a string of games together and jump up in the standings?”

The Flyers selling their top defenseman is bound to have an immediate effect on their on-ice product, especially given the fact that Jaime Drysdale is sidelined with an injury.

If no other deals are made on the blue line for the Flyers, they will need to recall a defenseman from the American Hockey League if/when Johansen clears waivers.

The Devils remain eight points back of the Flyers who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division. Now that the Flyers are a defensively weaker team in terms of personnel, there’s an opportunity for the Devils to take advantage.

The Devils just need to, ya know, win their games.

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