Wednesday's trade involving the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders saw two veteran leaders leave the young Devils locker room. Center Travis Zajac and right wing Kyle Palmieri head across state lines after many impactful years with the Devils.
Zajac recently played his 1000th NHL game, all with New Jersey, and was in his fifteenth season with the club.
"The organization has meant everything to me," said Zajac on his time with the Devils. "They gave me my first shot at the NHL … they just helped me grow as a hockey player, as a person.
Video: NHL Tonight on Islanders trade for Palmieri and Zajac
"I'm going to remember some of the playoff runs we've had, the players I've played with, obviously this year was a big milestone with playing my 1000th game as a New Jersey Devil. All those things have meant to me, and I'll cherish and remember them forever."
Palmieri grew up playing in the Devils youth hockey system and was in his sixth season with the team he grew up rooting for.
"Looking back in to the last five plus years, it's hard to imagine how grateful I am and how fortunate I was to be able to play in front of my family, and for the organization that I grew up playing in their youth hockey organization," Palmieri said. "I'm incredibly grateful for my time in New Jersey and I made a lot of great friends. It's an awesome organization and a lot of friendships with teammates that will last a lifetime."