Devils Add Versatility and Toughness with MacDermid Trade

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils have been active on the trade market, but surprising to many, their moves have not involved a goaltender. It was announced on Friday afternoon that the Devils have acquired Kurtis MacDermid from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Zakhar Bardakov and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

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The Devils give up a forward prospect in Bardakov, who was drafted in 2021 and currently plays for SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL. The draft pick involved in the trade had previously been acquired from Nashville. As a result of the trade, forward Brian Halonen has been reassigned to the Devils’ AHL affiliate Utica Comets to accommodate the roster spot.

Notably, the Devils have struggled with injury and illness this season and have often had to be creative with their lineup. In MacDermid, the Devils gain a player with experience as both a forward and defenseman who could provide some versatility and depth. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kings, MacDermid played his first NHL game in 2017. He was traded to Colorado in 2021 and has played 131 regular season games for the Avalanche. Of most relevance is that MacDermid provides a toughness that the Devils roster has been lacking this season. At 6’5”, 235 pounds, he provides a sizable presence on the ice. In recent weeks, Matt Rempe has caused a stir for the Rangers as filling the enforcer role for their team, and last night Ryan Reaves dropped the gloves for the Maple Leafs. While the Devils have recently had risky hits on core players like Šimon Nemec and Jack Hughes go unretaliated.

This move, and the continued chatter around goaltender trades, signifies that Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald is not necessarily giving up on the team’s playoff potential this year.

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