Devils Rumors: New Jersey Gauging Trade Market for Defenseman

The New Jersey Devils are looking to replace Dougie Hamilton's production after the star defenseman went down with injury. Hamilton is out indefinitely with a torn pectoral muscle and is expected to miss a couple of months at least. GM Tom Fitzgerald has been busy working the phones looking to find an experienced NHL blueliner to plug-and-play into his lineup.

New Jersey sits 13-10-1 on the season and is currently on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup Playoff picture in the eastern conference. Fitzgerald has just under $1 million in cap space at the moment and as it stands right now has about $4 million closer to the trade deadline to work with. Hamilton is likely back by then which comes into play.

Fitzgerald has recalled top prospect, 19-year-old Simon Nemec. The former first-round pick from 2022 has appeared in three games so far for the Devils and has recorded three points. In 13 AHL games this season, the super rookie recorded two goals and eight points. If Nemec steps in and proves himself early on, it could certainly change the game plan for Fitzgerald and the Devils.

As for external targets, two names to consider are Tony DeAngelo and Tyson Barrie. DeAngelo is the much cheaper of the two at just $1.6 million as Barrie is owed $4.5 million. Both have a ton of offense in their games and are pending free agents. Barrie was recently a healthy scratch and didn't react the way Barry Trotz wanted to see and now Barrie' agent is busy shopping his client to other GM's. Meanwhile DeAngelo has been scratched numerous times this season and the Hurricanes are trying to move the versatile blueliner for some forward depth up front. 

Keep an eye on Nemec's production these next few games for the Devils, if the numbers are there and the coaching staff is building some confidence in the youngster, Fitzgerald may be able to sit on his hands for a little bit longer.

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