The Colorado Avalanche have dealt defender Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Mikhail Maltsev and a second-round pick in 2021, originally owned by the New York Islanders.
The Avalanche dealt Graves just days ahead of the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft. It’s a foregone conclusion that Graves was going to be left unprotected, allowing Colorado to protect Devon Toews, Cale Makar, and Samuel Girard from the Kraken. With this trade, Colorado and general manager Joe Sakic are able to recoup some assets for Graves who they could’ve lost for nothing. With Graves’ spot opening up, expect young Bowen Byram to get an extended look in Colorado’s top-four defense core next season, possibly paired with Girard.
It’s also rather crucial for Colorado to clear some cap room, especially while they’re able to deal an expendable asset. With three giant free agents coming up with Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar, and Philipp Grubauer, freeing up Ryan Graves’ $3.17MM cap hit gives Colorado that much more flexibility. Colorado’s got a somewhat promising prospect in return, too. Maltsev broke into the league this season, scoring six goals and nine points in 33 games. It was a nice showing for the 23-year-old rookie, who was drafted 102nd overall in 2016. Maltsev isn’t a guarantee to crack the much deeper Colorado roster next season, but he does present some long-term NHL upside for a fair price.
For New Jersey, they acquire a solid bottom-four defender who’s been rather skilled at preventing quality against in recent years. And while this acquisition at the same time last year may have put too much pressure on Graves with the Devils’ thin blue-line, last year’s emergence of rookie Ty Smith allows Graves to more comfortably settle into a second-pairing role with the team, and could possibly boost P.K. Subban’s defensive impacts in the final year of his big contract.
All around, it appears as though both the Avalanche and Devils walk away happy from this deal, with both teams getting exactly what they needed out of the transaction.
All salary figures via CapFriendly.com
Colorado wasn’t going to be able to protect Graves in the expansion draft & Seattle likely would have taken him. This way, Colorado gets a young winger & a second round pick for him. It isn’t a huge haul, but it is better than losing him for nothing to Seattle
Should have exposed or trades Girard. He’s useless in his own end as seen against Vegas
@jmartin87 – Thank you for that first vote! Seconded, and then some! “Sammy Spin-o-Rama, the Pizza Server”
i mean, it’s NJ’s side of this that doesn’t really fit to me. I get COL’s situation.
Wait a minute, the Devils don’t have their own 2nd. Is it the one they got from the Islanders for Andy Greene?
Yes, article says it’s the NYI 2nd rounder. Not a bad haul given the circumstances.
I know. When I commented that, the article said “New Jersey’s own 2nd rounder” because that’s what the press release said.
Really nice move by New Jersey here. I wish Ottawa would target teams like this since they only have two defencemen worth protecting.
you don’t want them to keep mete?
And not a bad move by the Avs to get something instead of losing him for nothing.
Chabot and Mete. Zaitsev won’t be claimed.
Yep. Good asset management. Joe Sakic owes Erik Johnson about 1000 favours moving forward for agreeing to waive his NMC. Don’t think they’d be able to do this had they lost Toews or Girard.
Yes. What a steal. Get Lou to overpay for a 37 year old defenseman then flip the pick for a young defenseman.
Graves will work into the PP. QB in jersey…
Sakic shows again he one of top gm’s. fitzgerald perfect use of cap space. expect one two more of these trades tomorrow. Probably means Donskoi or compher will be pick unless sakic leaves kadri available like some think. doubt this but guess we will see.
Colorado’s still several million short of being able to fill their roster out AND hang on to Landeskog, but it’s a start.
Good move by NJ. They’d be a few years away from getting anything like Grave’s productivity. And, in fact, a less than 50% chance that the late 2nd ever plays in the NHL.
Brilliant move by Sakic! He took an asset that could have been lost for zip and got two futures. Loveland, CO, is a fun place to watch hockey. It’s going to be even more fun with more winning.
The fact that he also freed significant cap space with some challenging negotiations occurring is huge. Sakic is not done. I think he’ll be a player for another D in the trade/FA market.
Keep dreaming lmfao. Avs miss the playoffs
Sad to see Graves go, but it was a move that had to be made. Great move by Sakic. Now they’ll likely lose Compher, Kadri, or Donskoi to the Kraken. That’ll be clearing $6-7M (including Graves) allowing us to resign our guys hopefully.