Since his arrival in May of 2015, General Manager Ray Shero has been steadfast in his approach to replenish the Devils prospect pool and acquire as many assets as possible. Shero's ability to find veteran players in free agency and sign them to affordable deals have made them valuable trade pieces for the Devils. Over the past two seasons, New Jersey has acquired six picks for players under their contract. The Devils have potential to be serious buyers leading up the expansion draft as teams around the league attempt to move contracts and players that they fear of losing for no compensation. Stockpiling eleven draft picks in 2017 and entering the offseason with cap space flexibility proves that New Jersey has the framework in place to make moves. When speaking to the media during his end of the season press conference, Shero hinted at an active offseason and his unwillingness to use all eleven draft picks.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we did, but I will be trying not to, if you know what I mean."- Ray Shero
Check out the five transactions Ray Shero completed to build up trade ammunition during the 2017 NHL offseason.
Devils move D Eric Gelinas for a 2017 3rd Round Pick
Defenseman Eric Gelinas was the Devils second round selection (54th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft. During his time in Jersey, Gelinas totaled 54 points (14-40a) in 156 games played and accumulated a -14 rating. After being scratched in his final nine games leading up to the trade deadline, the blueliner was sent to the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 29, 2016 in exchange for Colorado's 2017 3rd round pick. Since that time, Gelinas has skated in only 33 games for the Avalanche and has registered just one assist.
New Jersey receives a 2016 4th Round Pick and 2017 2nd Round Pick for RW Lee Stempniak
After making the Devils roster following a PTO in the summer of 2016, New Jersey inked RW Lee Stempniak to a one-year, $850,000 contract. At the time of the signing, the Devils never could have predicted how productive the NHL journeyman would actually be in Jersey. Stempniak posted a team-high 41 points (16g-25a) in just 63 games, driving up his value at the trade deadline that season before sent to Boston. Shero received a 2016 fourth rounder (future LW Mikhail Maltsev) and an upcoming 2nd round pick from the Bruins. Stempniak totaled 10 points (3g-7a) in 19 games for Boston as they just missed the playoffs. The 34-year-old would later hit free agency and sign a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes (his tenth NHL team), where he potted 40 points (16g-24a) during 2016-17.
Devils acquire a 2018 2nd rounder and Marc Savard for forwards Graham Black and Paul Thompson
Last June, the Devils picked up the contract of Marc Savard and a 2018 second round draft pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Graham Black and Paul Thompson. Black has yet to skate in an NHL game while Thompson dished out three assists during 21 games played in Florida. Savard's contract and cap hit will come off the Devils payroll this offseason.
Jersey's Team sends forwards Vern Fiddler and PA Parenteau to Nashville for 4th and 6th Round Picks, Respectively
Two separate trades with the Predators returned 4th and 6th round picks for the Devils in the 2017 draft. After posting 1g-2a in 39 games, the Devils sent F Vern Fiddler to Nashville on Feb. 4 for a fourth rounder. The Devils weren't done dealing with the Predators however, and eventually moved F PA Parenteau to the Music City on March 1 for a sixth-round pick. Since arriving in Nashville, Fiddler has potted one goal in 39 games played, while Parenteau has just one assist and dressed in only eight games.