The first major NHL trade deadline 2021 deal has arrived, and while it’s a big step, it shouldn’t come as a shock. New York Islanders looking for a replacement for the score and the leadership lost by the captain Anders leeseason-ending injury, the two added in a trade with the Devils, acquiring veteran forwards Kyle palmieri and Rabbit Travis. Trade, like first reported by Athletic’s Arthur Staple, marks the second consecutive season the Islands have gained a career heck of their Crosstown rivals, as Zajac reunites with his longtime teammate Andy Greene At New York.

As one can imagine, the commercial return for the Devils, this is substantial, even in a buyer’s market. In exchange for their two baseline forwards and 50% retention on both salaries, New Jersey receives the Islanders’ first-round pick in 2021, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022, and young forwards. AJ Greer and Mason jobst. The conditions for the second pick are as follows: If New York reaches the Stanley Cup final this season, the fourth round becomes a third round and the Devils can choose whether they wish in the 2022 or 2023 draft.

This business obviously has the fingerprints of Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello everywhere. The veteran executive was the Devils general manager when Zajac was drafted in 2004. He tried to reacquire the two-way center last season, but Zajac has not given up on his no-move clause. This time around, with his contract about to expire, Zajac is set to finally leave the Devils in pursuit of a Stanley Cup, especially when he is joined by familiar faces. After relinquishing a second-round pick for Greene last year, Lamoriello didn’t hesitate to return to the New Jersey well and give Zajac and Palmieri a first.

What are the islanders getting in this deal? For starters, they add over 1,600 games of NHL experience to the roster, something that cannot be underestimated for a competitor. It will certainly help make up for Lee’s loss in the leadership department. Offensively, neither Palmieri nor Zajac have been at their best this season, but they are still among the Devils’ top five scorers with 15 goals and 35 points between them. Palmieri was considered one of the main targets of the market even in low season and played with one of the three best centers on the island, in particular Mathew Barzal, should help his score improve.

Zajac is the perfect fit for Head Coach Barry Trotz’s Conservative System as an intelligent, measured, two-way advance. It remains to be seen where exactly it fits into the roster on a deep list. The Islanders will need to find what works best with their many possible line combinations, but for now, Palmieri and Zajac Oliver wahlstrom and Kieffer bellows from the active list. An underrated part of this business from an islanders perspective is the salary withheld. With only half of Palmieri and Zajac’s contracts contributing to the payroll cap, the Devils still find themselves with around $ 3M of reserve space for long-term injuries, enough room to make another acquisition if they do. wish.