Patrick Maroon was traded to the New Jersey Devils by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday for forward prospect J.D. Dudek and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Maroon, a 29-year-old forward, is in the final season of a three-year contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"Once I heard I was going to New Jersey, I got really excited," Maroon said. "They're a good young team, skilled, and exciting to watch. They have a team that could make a really good push. It's a team that's tenacious and doing some special things this year, and Taylor Hall is leading the pack, so I'm excited to get there, join the excitement and join that locker room."
Video: Discussing Maroon going to New Jersey
Maroon has 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) and 60 penalty minutes in 57 games this season, after he had NHL career highs of 27 goals and 42 points last season. He skated on a line with Connor McDavid for much of the past two seasons in Edmonton.
"My game is being big and strong in the [defensive] zone and along the boards, breaking up pucks, getting in on the forecheck, and using my hands around the net," Maroon said. "I need to go in there, use my size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds), be a physical presence and try to make an impact."
Maroon has 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 42 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"He has experience, especially in the playoffs," Devils general manager Ray Shero said. "He's done a really good job in Edmonton and in Anaheim and has played with good players. Not everyone can play with players like [Connor McDavid]. It's important that we support the development of our younger players both on and off the ice, and physically. We're not looking too far ahead, but for meaningful hockey, and that's a fun part of development and excitement for the fans.
"Patrick Maroon and Michael Grabner have done that (in the past) and they'll be a good fit for our team moving forward."
The Devils acquired Grabner in a trade with the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Maroon was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round (No. 161) in the 2007 NHL Draft and has 165 points (75 goals, 90 assists) and 438 penalty minutes in 358 NHL games with the Oilers and Anaheim Ducks. He was traded to Edmonton on Feb. 29, 2016.
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Maroon played with Hall on the Oilers, and with Ben Lovejoy, Sami Vatanen and Kyle Palmieri with the Ducks. Maroon played for Devils coach John Hynes at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
"I liked his aggressive play with getting in on the forecheck and creating offense," Maroon said of Hynes. "He gets players to play hard for him every single night, and that's what I like. He challenges you to be really good and we hit it off really well at [the] world championships. He brought a really young team to a bronze-medal game that we didn't expect, so I'm excited to join him and the staff the next six weeks for this run and playoff push."
The Devils (32-22-8) hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They're fourth in Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, who are tied for second.
The Oilers (27-31-4) are 15 points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card from the Western Conference.
"This is a hard league to win in the playoffs," Maroon said. "I bring that playoff jam, what playoff hockey is all about. I like getting in on the forecheck and scoring some dirty goals."
New Jersey plays at Pittsburgh on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV). Shero said he doesn't know if Maroon will play because of travel.
Dudek, 22, was selected by the Devils in the sixth round (No. 152) of the 2014 NHL Draft and is in his third season at Boston College. He has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 33 games this season.