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Report: New Jersey Considered ‘Frontrunners’ for Devils Trade Target Goaltender

The New Jersey Devils are reportedly frontrunners to land Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

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New Jersey Devils
Jacob Markstrom has seemingly played his last game with the Calgary Flames and could soon backstop the New Jersey Devils.

It’s no secret that the New Jersey Devils are after a goaltender this summer. New Jersey nearly acquired a No.1 goaltender ahead of the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline in March in a deal with the Calgary Flames. However, the Flames-Devils trade was nixed at the finish line and the deal never came to fruition. It’s been well documented that the Devils would revisit the idea this summer, and according to a report, the Devils are once again frontrunners for the veteran Flames goaltender.

Jacob Markstrom has been the apple of Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald‘s eye in a Devils trade for months at this point. Markstrom (34) already agreed to waive his no-move clause in February with the belief that he would be heading to New Jersey before the Flames-Devils trade fell apart. However, now that the offseason is here, Fitzgerald has renewed his interest in the Swedish goaltender and, according to a new report, is the favorite to land Markstrom, although confirmed Ottawa’s interest in the veteran goaltender as well.

“While the New Jersey Devils are considered the frontrunner in trying to acquire Markstrom, a league executive stated that Staios and the Senators have held several discussions with Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy to see if they can find a fit to make a deal,” Bruce Garrioch wrote via the Ottawa Citizen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are also interested in the Flames goaltender, however, a trade between the Canadian rivals seems unlikely.

On the latest episode of 32 Thoughts the Podcast, Elliotte Friedman confirmed all three teams’ interest, while also explaining Flames GM Craig Conroy is trying to make a Markstrom deal as quietly as possible.

“It was so crazy during the season, Calgary is trying to do this as quietly as possible. That’s not going to be easy. I mean, good luck with that at this time of the year,” Friedman said. “They just know what a roller-coaster it was for everybody involved, including the player and themselves, and I think they’re really, really trying to avoid it. But there’s definitely something going on.”

Garrioch also writes that a league executive explained the Flames want a lot in return for Markstrom. Last week, Fitzgerald confirmed he’s willing to trade the 10th overall pick at the 2024 NHL Draft in a Devils trade.

“If we feel it helps us now and in the foreseeable future, then, yes, I’m listening. I haven’t gotten anything yet but the more I talk to teams, I say ‘Listen, I’m open to moving No. 10, but it’s going to have to be something (significant),” the Devils GM told Mike Morreale of NHL.com.

The Devils have the young talent and draft capitol which enables them to make the sort of deal Calgary is looking for. Ottawa does, too, however, Markstrom’s confirmation earlier this year that he would move to New Jersey seemingly gives them an edge.

The first round of the 2024 NHL Draft begins in 18 days. We could learn by then the fate of Markstrom and if his future is in New Jersey.

In 48 games with the Flames this season, Markstrom accrued a 23-23-2 record with a 2.78 GAA, 905 SV%, and a 13.7 goals saved above expected.

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