Jacob Markstrom was traded to the New Jersey Devils by the Calgary Flames for a first-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft and defenseman Kevin Bahl on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old goalie went 23-23-2 with a 2.78 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and two shutouts in 48 games this season. He has two seasons remaining on a six-year contract and can become an unrestricted free agent after 2025-26.

“This is a big challenge,” Markstrom said. “It's a big team with high expectations and as a goaltender, there's pressure, and I've been on teams where there was pressure on goaltending in the Canadian market. I know what's expected and me, as a person too, and people who know me that I just want to win hockey games. And when we don't win I'm my hardest critic, so I'm just super happy and stoked about going there."

The trade comes two months after Markstrom was noncommittal about his future in Calgary after the Flames (38-39-5) failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I don't know, but what I do know and what I tell you guys every day is I love winning hockey games," he said April 20. "I think that's the competitive side of me ... that every time I lace up the skates that's something I urge and I want to accomplish. You want to win hockey games and I know everyone in that locker room wants to win hockey games, too. That's pretty much where my head is at right now.”

Selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (No. 31) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Markstrom is 215-196-57 with a 2.73 GAA and .909 save percentage in 485 regular-season games (468 starts) for the Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and Flames and 13-13 with a 2.90 GAA and .911 save percentage in 26 playoff games.

The first-round pick in the trade is top-10 protected. If New Jersey has a top-10 selection next year, Calgary would receive its first-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft.

“Jacob was a true professional through the whole thing,” Flames general manager Craig Conroy said. “When we went to him finally to ask him if he would waive his no-move [clause], he agreed and signed off on it and we were able to finish the deal this morning. He was a big part of it, though, because he had the right to say no to anything that came his way."

Bahl played all 82 games for the Devils this season and had 11 points (one goal, 10 assists). He has 25 points (four goals, 21 assists) in 148 regular-season games and one assist in 11 playoff games, all with New Jersey.

Bahl, who turns 24 on June 27, was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the second round (No. 55) of the 2018 NHL Draft.

“Today’s trade demonstrates our focus on the infusion of young talented players into our roster as well as acquiring important draft capital, while maintaining our commitment as a playoff competitive team,” Conroy said. “We thank Jacob for his professionalism and understanding of our decision to make this trade now and at this stage in his career.”

Devils acquire Jacob Markstrom from Flames

“For quite some time, we had identified Kevin Bahl as a priority player. He is a strong defender with size who plays an assertive game with tremendous presence. While his 6’6, 230-pound frame is an imposing asset, he uses his body intelligently, has good mobility and makes smart puck decisions. Kevin fits our identity, and we are excited to acquire him now as he can continue to grow with our group.”

Since being hired as the full-time GM by the Devils in July 2020, general manager Tom Fitzgerald has seen 12 different goalies play at least one game. Two (Vitek Vanecek, Mackenzie Blackwood) have played at least 80 games, and two others (Nico Daws, Akira Schmid) have totaled at least 40.

The Devils (38-39-5) failed to qualify for the playoffs for the 10th time in 12 seasons.

"I'm in the goalie market talking to teams, but there's a 'but' and the 'but' is how do we want to build our team?" Fitzgerald told on June 4. "We'd like to add up front, we'd like to add on the back end, so what are those pieces going to cost us? With the goaltending, what's that going to cost us?

"Does the No. 10 pick [in the 2024 NHL Draft] get you that type of player that you can add to the group? It's easy to say, 'Go get so-and-so and then you build from there.' But there are some guys who have different contracts, so how are those players going to reprice at? There's a lot to it, but, yes, the focus is on finding that goaltender."

Markstrom said he has already heard from Martin Brodeur, the Hockey Hall of Fame goalie who won the Stanley Cup three times with the Devils (1995, 2000, 2003) and is now their executive vice president of hockey operations.

“I got a text from him right after it happened, so I'm sure we'll catch up,” Markstrom said. “And, you know, hopefully I don't ask too many questions to him and I think when you look at everything he's done for the game and the numbers he put up is unbelievable, and one of the best to ever do it. So it's huge to have a guy like that in the front office and up top and I can't wait to see him and meet and talk to him. But yeah, for sure, that's huge.

"I think that the team has something really good going on and you look at the players on the roster and the skill set and everything they have there, and then they made a major push and there was a lot of talk throughout last year and nothing happened there and then after the season it kind of picked up again. So obviously they really wanted me to come and it's always exciting to join a group and a team and an organization like the New Jersey Devils who have a lot of history and I know a bunch of players who played there and they absolutely love it, so I can't wait to make it my home." senior draft writer Mike G. Morreale and independent correspondent Aaron Vickers contributed to this report

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