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Pieces In Place For Potential Ullmark Trade Between Bruins And Devils

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AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Two of the worst-kept secrets entering the NHL offseason have been that the New Jersey Devils desperately need a goaltender and that the Boston Bruins have one to give in Linus Ullmark.

Now, the two sides could be heading toward an Ullmark trade with a major piece being put in place by New Jersey general manager Tom Fitzgerald. According to Mike Morreale of NHL.com, Fitzgerald is willing to trade away New Jersey’s  No. 10 overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

“If we feel it helps us now and in the foreseeable future, then, yes, I’m listening,” Fitzgerald told NHL.com at the NHL scouting combine in Buffalo on Monday. “I haven’t gotten anything yet, but the more I talk to teams, I say, ‘Listen, I’m open to moving No. 10, but it’s going to have to be something (significant).”

After qualifying for the postseason with 112 points last year, the Devils drastically underwhelmed this season, missing the playoffs with just 81 points. That, in large part, was due to poor play in goal, as New Jersey netminders combined for a save percentage of just barely over .900 in 2023-24 and a goals-against average of 3.02.

Meanwhile, Ullmark was once again stellar for the Bruins. Although he made only two appearances during Boston’s playoff run, the former Vezina Trophy winner finished the regular season with a record of 22-10-7 in 39 starts. His save percentage of .915 ranked fifth in the league among goalies who played a minimum of 30 games, and his 2.57 GAA tied for eighth among those as well.

Not only does a trade involving Ullmark and the No. 10 overall pick make too much sense for the Devils, it also does so for the Bruins. Currently holding only three picks in this year’s draft and none in the first three rounds, it’d be wise for Bruins GM Don Sweeney to acquire whatever draft capital he can to restock a shallow Boston prospect pool.

However, even though the hypothetical deal seems to be a perfect match, a few factors put the Bruins at a disadvantage in future negotiations.

Firstly, Boston isn’t the only team looking to trade a goalie. The Nashville Predators are rumored to be shopping their starting netminder, Juuse Saros, as too are the Calgary Flames with Jacob Markstrom. Perhaps Fitzgerald views one of those two as a better fit for New Jersey than Ullmark.

“Does the No. 10 pick get you that type of player that you can add to the group,” Fitzgerald told NHL.com. “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.”

Then there is the issue of the 15-team no-movement clause attached to Ullmark’s contract, which gives him the power to veto a trade to half the league. The goalie reportedly did just that ahead of the NHL trade deadline back in March, nixing a deal the Bruins were rumored to have in place with the Los Angeles Kings.

Still, a deal with the Devils for Ullmark makes far too much sense for the Bruins not to pursue. It’s likely that more rumors will materialize over the next few weeks, with the Ullmark trade saga nowhere close to being over.

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Ted

Makes no sense for the Bruins. They need goal scoring. Getting the #10 pick is not going to solve that. Assuming Edmonton is not on Ullmark’s no trade list, offer him, Lindholm and Lysell for Draisaitl and a defenseman, maybe Ceci, Kulak or Bouchard. Draisaitl only has one year left on his deal and it’s sounding like he isn’t going to sign with Edmonton. Trade McAvoy to the Islanders for Nelson who also has 1 year remaining. McAvoy is from Long Island so he would probably be happy going there. These moves solve the Bruins goal scoring issues and open… Read more »

DW

This is the single dumbest thing any human has ever said

LordIceburger

You think you’re getting Nelson for McAvoy straight up? That’s funny!!

Lance

You are talking about moving more pieces to Edmonton Debrusk is from there keep Lindhol and don’t sign Heinen remember they traded him or didn’t resign him he was a good rental

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