The New Jersey Devils do not have many unrestricted free agents (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 season. P.K. Subban and Jimmy Vesey are two players who will be UFAs at the end of the year, and it’s possible that they are the only players made available via trade by general manager (GM) Tom Fitzgerald.
New Jersey has one of the youngest rosters in the NHL, and will look to maintain its youth past the deadline. If Subban is traded by March 21, Fitzgerald will look to acquire a mid-round pick in 2022, or a future NHL draft selection. It is possible that a return could include a depth player from a team that trades for one of the Devils players. Here are four trade destinations for Subban.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights have one defenseman on injured reserve (IR) in
Zach Whitecloud (broken bone in foot). Alec Martinez (facial laceration) and Jake Bischoff (undisclosed injury) are on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). Depending upon how long Whitecloud and Martinez remain out, Vegas’ GM Kelly McCrimmon may look to acquire another blueliner.
Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, and Brayden McNabb are the top defensemen for Vegas, and Subban could be a good addition to round out the team’s top four blueliners. He would be a depth option once Whitecloud and Martinez return from IR. The New Jersey defenseman is not one of the leading defensemen on the power play (PP) and penalty kill (PK) in time on ice (TOI) for the Devils, but provides good value for them at five on five.
The Golden Knights do not have any cap space, and would likely need the Devils to absorb some of Subban’s $9 million average annual value (AAV) if Vegas was interested in acquiring the veteran defenseman. New Jersey could acquire a mid-round draft selection such as a fourth-round pick or a player to help Vegas create cap space such as William Carrier. Vegas could use defensive depth currently, and the Devils’ defenseman could be a worthwhile acquisition if the Golden Knights can create some cap space.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been rumored as a trade destination for Subban. The Leafs, like the Golden Knights, are a team that does not have much cap space.