The Staal brothers make their first trip to New Jersey on Tuesday to visit the red-hot Devils.

Who: Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

Media: TV - MSG+ (Channel listings); Radio - WFAN (660 AM or 101.9 FM)

Twitter: @cgriffin415 | @SNYDevils

Stats & Notes (via Devils PR)

  • New Jersey is looking for its sixth consecutive victory tonight, which would equal the team’s longest from all of last season (March 27-April 7, 2012). The Devils have 19 points, the best start through 12 games in team history (previously 1993-94, 9-3-0=18pts).
  • Combined with their six-game winning streak to close out the 2011-12 schedule, the Devils are 14-1-3 in their last 18 regular season contests.
  • The Devils are 5-0-1 at Prudential Center and are one of just two teams in the NHL without a regulation loss at home (Chicago 2-0).
  • New Jersey is 7-0-0 in their last seven regular-season home games vs. Carolina (last loss, March 28, 2009, 2-1).
  • David Clarkson scored two goals Sunday night, and with nine goals on the season is tied with Chicago’s Patrick Kane for third in the NHL. His five power play goals are tied (Patrick Marleau, San Jose & James Neal, Pittsburgh) for first overall, while his 15 points are tied (with 4 others) for eighth.
  • Yesterday was Captain Bryce Salvador’s 37th birthday. He is the Devils’ current ironman, having played in 94 consecutive games.
  • New Jersey is 7/22 (31.8 %) on the power play over the past five games.
Expected Lineups

Forwards                                                              Defense                                                      Goalie

Matteau-Zajac-Kovalchuk                                     Salvador-Fayne                                           Brodeur

Elias-Henrique-Clarkson                                    Greene-Larsson

Carter-Gionta-Bernier                                        Volchenkov-Zidlicky

Barch-Josefson-Butler

Inactives: Harrold, Tallinder

Scratched: Zubrus (upper body)

[sny-box]

This one goes to six: The Devils are hot. Scorching hot. Ridiculously on fire hot. Following a home-and-home sweep of the rival Penguins, the Devils now possess the best record in the Eastern Conference through 12 games. This is a team that was projected to barely make the playoffs, yet a quarter of the way into season is playing like one of the best teams in the entire league. David Clarkson and Patrik Elias are one of the most dangerous duos in all of hockey right now, Ilya Kovalchuk is heating up, the goaltending has been fantastic and Marty Brodeur is -- well, Marty Brodeur despite being 40 years old. Can the Devils extend their run to six straight wins Tuesday against the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes? I don't see why not. Cam Ward is expected to get the start in net after making 24 saves Monday night. Ward has struggled for most of this season and the Devils' aggressive forecheck combined with a warming Kovy could make life very sad for Ward. The Devils are a better team than Carolina and Marty is back in net, but there is the issue of those tricky Staal brothers.

Brotherly love: Ah, the Staals. The Hurricanes united two-thirds of the NHL's latest version of the "first family" (non-Sutter division) when the acquired Jared Staal via trade before the lockout. The deal, along with the signing of Alexander Semin, has made the Hurricanes much stronger up front and far more dangerous offensively than in years past. Big brother Eric Staal leads the Canes in goals and points while Jordan leads the team in assists and is third in points. Sandwiched between them is Jeff Skinner while the consistently inconsistent Semin has basically spent the season alternating useful games. However, regardless of who is on or off on a nightly basis, one thing is certain with the Canes, they're going to shoot the puck and they're going to shoot it a lot. Carolina leads the NHL with 36 shots per game, almost a full 10 shots per game more than 26th-place New Jersey. Coincidentally, the Hurricanes also allow the third-most shots per game in the league, while the Devils allow the third-fewest. Safe to say, expect a lot of pressure from the Hurricanes tonight while the Devils try to use their forecheck to keep the Canes backed up in their own end. Special teams will likely play a huge role in this one.

Zajac's time: We mentioned above that Ilya Kovalchuk has found his stride in the offensive end over the past three games. Unfortunately, his centerman, Travis Zajac, is still searching for his. After scoring in back-to-back games to open the season, Zajac has only a Jan. 31 assist to his name. Zajac, DeBoer, Kovy -- all say it's just a matter of time before the recently extended Zajac gets going and I tend to believe them. But the longer the drought goes on, the more people will wonder about whether Zajac's new contract is affecting him and as we've seen a lot in recent years, useful, solid players can be overwhelmed by the expectations that come with a high price tag. That is a ways off and for now I'd advise Devils fans to wait out this mini slump. As long as Kovy is firing, his linemates will eventually rack up points and let's not forget that Zajac has at least one very good chance in each of the last three games. It's just a matter of him burying them, which I think he will soon enough.

Crunch time: Guess who led the team in ice time Sunday night against Pittsburgh? Andy Greene. You know who was second (barely)? Adam Larsson. Even though they're the "second pairing," the combo of Greene and Larsson was the Devils' go-to D pairing in the third period Sunday, including the last 90 seconds when the Pens had their net empty and an extra forward on the ice. While Greene has become the Devils' top defenseman through 12 games this season, Larsson has thus far avoided the "sophomore jinx" that seems to befell young players, especially defensemen. Maybe it was the five games that he was forced to sit and watch or the time in the AHL during the lockout, but Larsson has quickly gained DeBoer's trust in his own zone and that is no small feat. The one thing we have seen out of Greene thus far that we haven't seen out of Larsson has been skill in the offensive end, but that will come as Larsson grows more comfortable. He is a very skilled offensive defenseman, especially in the passing game and I think it's only a matter of time before we start to see his outlet passes start to make a difference for this team.

[/sny-box]

Tags: Canes, Carolina Hurricanes, Devils, Devs, Gameday, gameday, Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Clearly big sellers at the NHL trade deadline, the Devils have sent defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes and goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks, per multiple reports.

Vatanen, who is currently on injured reserve, is being traded to Carolina, per TSN's Pierre LeBrun, for prospects Fredrik ClaessonJanne Kuokkanen and conditional fourth round pic, per NHL Network's Elliotte Friedman.

Domingue will cross the border to Canada, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, in exchange for fellow goalie Zane McIntyre.

 

Tags: Sami Vatanen
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Devils have traded RW Wayne Simmonds to the Buffalo Sabres, per multiple reports.

In return, the Devils will receive a conditional fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, which can potentially become a fourth rounder if the Sabres makes the playoffs and Simmonds plays 10 games. The Sabres are currently eight points out of the second wild card spot in the eastern conference.

According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Devils will retain half of Simmond's $5 salary/cap hit, and there currently is no extension in place between Simmond -- an unrestricted free agent this year -- and the Sabres, but one could be in play depending on how he plays in Buffalo.

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Feb 14, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Feb 14, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

For the second time in as many months, Ilya Kovalchuk is on the move. The former Devils left wing from 2010-13, who left the NHL entirely in July 2013, was traded Sunday evening by the Montreal Canadiens to the Washington Capitals for a 2020 third-round draft pick.

Kovalchuk started the 2019-20 season with the Los Angeles Kings, the team he signed a three-year, $18.75-million contract with in June 2018, before his Dec. 17 release. The 6-foot-3, 222-pounder signed a one-year, two-year league minimum contract Jan. 3 with the Canadiens.

Through 39 games, Kovalchuk has 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists. He split his production between the Kings and Canadiens, netting nine points with Los Angeles before adding 13 in Montreal, and the Capitals believe the veteran has more left to give.

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Jan 14, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman (20) skates during the warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Jan 14, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman (20) skates during the warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

The Devils traded center Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for left wing Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft, New Jersey announced Sunday evening.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islands for defenseman David Quenneville and a second-round 2021 draft pick.

Coleman, 28, had entered his fourth NHL season -- all with the Devils -- after New Jersey originally signed him to a two-year entry level contract out of Miami (Ohio) University.

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Jan 14, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) gets ready for a face-off during the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Jan 14, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) gets ready for a face-off during the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

The Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the Islanders on Sunday afternoon, in exchange for defenseman David Quenneville and New York's second-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft, the team announced.

Quenneville, 21, will report to the Devils' AHL affiliate in Binghamton, New York.

New Jersey now has seven picks in the 2021 NHL Draft -- their own first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-rounds picks, in addition to New York's second-round pick and Arizona's third-round pick.

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Dec 3, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero speaks to the media prior to a game between the New Jersey Devils and the Vegas Golden Knights at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 3, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero speaks to the media prior to a game between the New Jersey Devils and the Vegas Golden Knights at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

A little over one month after the Devils' Dec. 3 firing of head coach John Hynes, they announced their next change in leadership with general manager Ray Shero out.

On Sunday afternoon, the Devils announced that they parted ways with Shero, who was the organization's GM since the start of the 2015-16 season.

The Devils released the following statement on the front office change, which applies the interim tag to assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Devils forward Kyle Palmieri was named to his second-straight NHL All-Star game on Monday. 

The 28-year-old leads the Devils with 27 points and 15 goals this season. Nico Hischier is currently second on the Devils with 22 points. 

Palmieri participated in last season's All-Star festivities after he replaced then-teammate Taylor Hall on the Metropolitan Division roster.

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Nov 22, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Pittsburgh won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nov 22, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Pittsburgh won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After being scratched in each of the last two games, Taylor Hall was traded by the Devils to the Arizona Coyotes, the team announced on Monday.

In return, the Devils received a pair of draft picks, including Arizona's first-rounder in 2020, along with defenseman Kevin Bahl and forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr.

Hall was expected to be a leader on and off the ice for the Devils, who brought in P.K. Subban in the offseason along with No. 1 overall draft pick Jack Hughes

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Dec 2, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) takes a shot on goal during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Dec 2, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) takes a shot on goal during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

After being held out of Friday night's game in Colorado, Taylor Hall is once again out of the lineup as the Devils prepare to take on the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, according to NHL reporter John Shannon

Hall skated in warmups on Friday, but was a healthy scratch for what the Devils termed as "precautionary reasons." 

Rumors have swirled over the past week that New Jersey was shopping the 28-year-old, and those rumors intensified after he was taken out of the lineup against the Avalanche.

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Oct 14, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes on the bench during the third period of their game against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Oct 14, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes on the bench during the third period of their game against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils announced Tuesday afternoon that they have relieved John Hynes of his head coaching duties and will elevate Alain Nasreddine to interim head coach.

Hynes had been the head coach of the Devils since 2015 and held a 150-159-18 record during his four-plus seasons with the team.

This season, the Devils have gone 9-13-4 with 22 and sit at the bottom of the eastern conference. Despite having the No. 1 pick in 2017 and 2019--which turned into Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes-- and the additions of Taylor Hall and P.K. Subban, the Devils haven't progressed much since Hynes took the reins.

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

A game after recording his first career NHL pointJack Hughes lit the lamp for the first time to give the Devils a 1-0 lead over the Vancouver Canucks. 

With the Devils on the power-play, Taylor Hall skated along the left wing half-board, before picking out Hughes with a beautiful cross-ice pass. Hughes made no mistake and rifled it past Thatcher Demko for the goal.

 

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Oct 12, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) controls the puck during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Oct 12, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) controls the puck during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

The Devils locked up a key piece of both their present and their future on Friday, signing center Nico Hischier to a seven-year contract extension, worth an average annual value of $7.25 million. The contract is set to begin in the 2020-2021 season.

Hischier, 20, was the first overall pick in the 2017 draft and scored 99 points (37 goals, 62 assists) in his first two NHL seasons. In six games this season, the Swiss native has collected a pair of assists.

The move futher solidifies the core of the Devils, who added star defenseman P.K. Subban in the offseason a day after drafting Jack Hughes No. 1 overall. They came into the season as one of the more talked about teams in the league, but began the season 0-4-2 before collecting their first win of the season over the Rangers on Thursday.

 

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko went head-to-head on Thursday night for the first time since the duo was selected first and second, respectively, in this year's NHL Draft.

With the Devils already up 2-1 in the second period, Hughes recorded his first NHL point. with under eight minutes to play in the period, Matt Tennyson wristed a shot from the point. The shot deflected off of Hughes' stick, then bounced off Miles Wood's backside and into net past Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

Wood was credited with the goal, but Hughes picked up his first career NHL point on the play. 

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Jack Hughes, the Devils first overall draft pick, donned the red and white jersey for the first time on Tuesday when he took the ice for the start of the team's developmental camp.

"Yeah, it was good to get out here. Good little skate to get our feet under us. It was good to get out there with the jersey for the first time."

While Hughes admitted the hype has gone down and he's had time to relax by the pool, he's ready to start soaking in all the information his new coaches will be throwing at him as he gets acclimated to his new team.

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Jack Hughes, the New Jersey Devils' first-round pick and first overall pick of the NHL Draft, was officially introduced as a Devil on Tuesday at the Prudential Center in Newark where he unveiled he will be wearing No. 86. 

The 18-year-old joined SNY's Dan Graca for a few minutes to discuss what it was like being the No. 1 pick and what lies ahead for his NHL career, plus much more. 

"It's been a whirlwind," he said. "I'm really excited to be a Devil."

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Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban celebrates after a Predators goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban celebrates after a Predators goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

P.K. Subban is optimistic in his new team and what No. 1 pick Jack Hughes brings to the Devils.

A day after New Jersey acquired Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators, Subban said he is looking forward to joining a team with playoff potential.

"My main objective is to come in and be a good mentor for the young guys, but I'm coming to win," Subban told the New York Post's Mollie Walker. "I'm not coming for participation, I want a Stanley Cup ring and I want to do that in New Jersey."

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Apr 22, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) in action during the game between the Stars and the Predators in game six of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Apr 22, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) in action during the game between the Stars and the Predators in game six of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

The Devils continue to load up on talent. 

One day after selecting Jack Hughes first overall in the NHL Draft, the Devils acquired defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nasvhille Predators, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN. 

The Devils will send defensemen Jeremy Davis and Steven Santini, plus a 2019 second-round pick and 2020 second-round pick to Nashville.

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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

The Devils selected center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.

He'll likely become the first-ever player to make the jump straight from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program to the NHL.

Here are six facts to know about the 18-year-old Hughes.

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Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the draft floor and stage before the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports  (Jerome Miron)
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the draft floor and stage before the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

It wouldn't have mattered which team had the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft. Jack Hughes just wants to be the first player taken.

"You always dream of being No. 1," Hughes told reporters Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo. "You don't dream of being two, three or four when you're a young kid."

But the 18-year-old American center isn't about to ruffle any feathers. Asked whether he'd look better in red or blue, with the Devils and Rangers holding the top two picks in the NHL Draft, Hughes said, "I think I'd look good in either."

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

It was a rough season for the NHL's Hudson River Rivalry.

The Devils took a huge step back after making the playoffs in 2017-18, their 72 points the third-fewest in the league, while the Rangers were only six points better as they embarked on their first full season of their rebuild.

But next month's NHL Draft represents an opportunity for both teams to add a potential game-changing prospect, as the Devils hold the No. 1 pick with the Rangers picking right after at No. 2. American center Jack Hughes and Finnish wing Kaapo Kakko should be the top-two picks in some order, with Hughes long pegged as the top prospect in this draft class. 

Tags: Nico Hischier
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Although no New York-area teams made it to the Stanley Cup Final this year, the Empire State will still have a large impact on hockey's grandest stage. Twelve players from the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues have connections with the New York metro area in some way, so local fans still have plenty of reasons to tune in.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins have one of the largest collections of American-born hockey players of any team in the NHL. Not surprisingly, several of them have called New York home for at least part of their careers.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Jaroslav Halak, John Moore, Marcus Johansson, Paul Carey, Steven Kampfer, St. Louis Blues
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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

Time will tell whether the Devils thinking highly enough of Kaapo Kakko to take him over long-presumed No. 1 NHL Draft pick Jack Hughes, but Kakko's emergence over the last year has at least made it a debate.

And Kakko thinks it can happen, especially as he dominates in the IIHF World Championship.

"This is a big thing for me for the draft," Kakko told NHL.com through a translator. "I think I can be the first (pick)."

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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

The NHL Draft gets more interesting by the day.

Because the more Kaapo Kakko plays in the IIHF World Championship, the more he impresses, adding intrigue to the Devils' decision on whom to select first overall.  

The Finnish wing, who will go to the Rangers at No. 2 if the Devils take American center Jack Hughes at No. 1, scored a beauty of a goal on Thursday for his sixth goal of the tournament.

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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

The tournament is only two days old, but Kaapo Kakko is already the talk of the IIHF World Championship.

The 18-year-old Finnish wing scored a hat trick Saturday in Finland's 4-2 win over Slovakia, giving him five goals after he scored two in the team's opener on Friday.

Kakko's first of the game was a long one-timer. He showed brilliant hands on his second goal before adding an empty-netter.

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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

It appears as if there could be a good ol' New York vs. New Jersey battle for Finnish hockey phenom Kaapo Kakko

Many expect the 18-year-old forward to go second overall to the Rangers, but perhaps it is too early to count out the Devils just yet.  

Kakko scored an impressive goal at the IIHF Worlds on Friday, grabbing the puck on a breakaway while a defender attempted to trip him from behind. Kakko escaped free of the defender's stick while also deking out the goalie to sneak the puck past him. 

When the clip of the goal surfaced on Twitter, the Rangers tweeted out the eyeball emoji while the Devils tweeted out a double eyes emoji along with a gif of the goal five minutes later. 

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Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)
Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko (left) posing with teammate Santeri Virtanen after winning the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Kaapo Kakko on Instagram/@kaapokakko)

The probable top two picks in the 2019 NHL Draft have topped NHL Central Scouting's final rankings lists, which were released Monday.

American center Jack Hughes is ranked No. 1 on Central Scouting's list of North American skaters, while Finnish wing Kaapo Kakko is ranked No. 1 on its list of International skaters

The Devils drew the No. 1 pick in the June draft during last week's NHL Draft Lottery, while the Rangers came away with the No. 2 pick. Hughes has long been considered the consensus No. 1 selection, but there's been recent talk of Kakko at least closing the gap on Hughes as far as who the top prospect is in this year's draft class after a strong season in the Finnish Liiga.

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Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

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 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

The 2019 NHL Draft lottery took place on Tuesday night, and it was the New Jersey Devils' card that flipped to lock in the No. 1 pick. 

This is the second time in the last three years the Devils were awarded the top pick, as they landed it in 2017 as well. They spent it on Nico Hischier, who has collected 99 points over two years thus far. 

After hearing the announcement, Devils GM Ray Shero couldn't be happier as he said "we need talent." That statement comes after a dismal Devils season where they finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 31-41-10 record. 

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New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei and New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford battle for the puck during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei and New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford battle for the puck during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils snapped their two-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:54 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Connor Carrick, Mirco Mueller
  • 14:34 NJD Travis Zajac (power play); Assists: Damon Severson, Nico Hischier
  • 18:40 NYR Brett Howden; Assists: Connor Brickley, Neal Pionk
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Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) plays the puck in front of New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) plays the puck in front of New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest non-Stanley Cup Finals playoff series in history -- the New York Rangers' epic seven-game Eastern Conference finals win over the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers, on their way to their first championship since 1940 that season, trailed three games to two before winning Game 6 when Mark Messier backed up his victory guarantee with a natural third-period hat trick and winning Game 7 on Stephane Matteau's goal in the second overtime.

The tri-state rivals will not commemorate the anniversary with a similarly high-stakes meeting this spring. Instead, the Rangers and Devils will each be looking to take solace in playing out the string in inspired fashion Monday night, when they complete their season series as New Jersey hosts New York in Newark.

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Mar 30, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) shoots the puck at St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) in front of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 30, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) shoots the puck at St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) in front of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Devils kept this one close, but the Blues pulled out the overtime win in a 3-2 loss for New Jersey at The Rock on Saturday night. >> Read More


First Period

  • 15:09 STL Robert Thomas; Assists: Pat Maroon, Tyler Bozak
Tags: St. Louis Blues
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Mar 29, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Joey Anderson (49) and Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Jimmy Howard (35) in the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Mar 29, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Joey Anderson (49) and Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Jimmy Howard (35) in the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The Devils couldn't get anything past the Red Wings goaltenders in a 4-0 shutout loss on the road Friday night. >> Read More


First Period

  • 13:38 DET Danny DeKeyser; Assists: Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi 
Tags: Detroit Red Wings
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Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel skates with the puck while being defended by New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel skates with the puck while being defended by New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils scored twice in the third period to beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:55 NJD Blake Coleman (power play); Assists: Nico Hischier, Travis Zajac
  • 7:23 BUF Sam Reinhart; Assist: Rasmus Dahlin
Tags: Buffalo Sabres
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

A shootout was needed to decide who took the win in the Devils-Coyotes matchup on Saturday afternoon, and New Jersey came away with the victory, 2-1, on their home ice. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:31 PHX Oliver Ekman-Larsson; Assists: Alex Galchenyuk, Conor Garland
  • 17:01 NJD Drew Stafford; Assists: Pavel Zacha, Miles Wood
Tags: Arizona Coyotes
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Mar 21, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save on New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman (20) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Mar 21, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save on New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman (20) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The injury-riddled Devils lost their third straight game Thursday night, falling 5-1 to the Bruins in Newark. New Jersey has lost 10 of its last 12 games. Cory Schneider stopped 22 of 26 shot. >> Box score 


First period:

  • 18:34 BOS Patrice Bergeron; Assists: David Pastrnak; Brad Marchand
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Mar 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals players celebrate a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals players celebrate a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Devils backup goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood struggled in net during the second period, allowing three unanswered goals as New Jersey fell to the Washington Capitals, 4-1. >> Box score 


First period:

  • 2:52 WAS Andre Burakovsky; Assists: Nic Dowd, Brett Connolly
  • 19:59 NJD Kenny Agostino
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Mar 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) defends as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) passes the puck in the third period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Mar 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) defends as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) passes the puck in the third period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Washington Capitals conclude a four-game road stretch when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

New Jersey (27-37-9) has been eliminated from playoff contention and is returning from a six-game road trip to open a four-game homestand.

The Devils went 2-4 on the trip, which ended with a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

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Mar 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) defends as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) passes the puck in the third period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Mar 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) defends as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) passes the puck in the third period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Despite Cory Schneider playing well in goal, the Devils could not get anything going offensively and fell to the Avalanche 3-0 on Sunday. >> Box score 


First period:

  • N/A
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Mar 15, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (16) defends against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
Mar 15, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (16) defends against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)

The Devils erased a two-goal deficit to come back and defeat the Canucks in a shootout, 3-2, Friday night in Vancouver. The injury-riddled Devils have won consecutive games for the first time in a month. Damon Severson ended the game in the seventh round of the shootout. MacKenzie Blackwood made 25 saves. >> Box score


First Period:

  • N/A

Second Period:

  • 3:18 VAN Elias Pettersson (Power Play;) Assists: Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat 
Tags: Damon Severson, Stefan Noesen, Vancouver Canucks
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 (Perry Nelson)
(Perry Nelson)

The Devils took care of business on the road, defeating the Oilers in their barn, 6-3, on Wednesday night. >> Box score


First Period:

  • 7:34 NJD Kenny Agostino; Assists: Andy Greene, Kevin Rooney
  • 9:37 EDM Sam Gagner; Assists: Jujhar Khaira, Matt Benning
  • 14:22 EDM Alex Chiasson (Power Play); Assists: Connor McDavid, Oscar Klefbom
  • 19:41 NJD Travis Zajac (Power Play); Assists: Damon Severson
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Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) defends as a puck shot by New York defenseman Libor Hajek (not pictured) gets by New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2.
		Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) defends as a puck shot by New York defenseman Libor Hajek (not pictured) gets by New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Devils scored the first two goals of the game, but that's all they could muster in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers at the Garden on Saturday night. >> Box score


First Period:

  • 16:26 NJD Damon Severson; Assists: Kenny Agostino, Michael McLeod
  • 19:49 NJD Blake Coleman (Power Play); Assists: Will Butcher, Travis Zajac
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

The Devils' struggles continued Friday night as they were shut out by the Capitals in D.C., 3-0. New Jersey has lost five straight and has scored just one goal in its last three games. MacKenzie Blackwood made 33 saves. >> Box Score


First Period

  • 2:40 WSH Andre Burakovsky; Assists: Michal Kempny, Travis Boyd
Tags: Washington Capitals
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Mar 5, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) scores the game winning goal against New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during shootout at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 5, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) scores the game winning goal against New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during shootout at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

It was a solid defensive game for both teams, but the Devils came out on the losing end in a shootout to the visiting Blue Jackets, 2-1, at The Rock on Tuesday night. >> Box Score


First Period

  • 0:52 CBJ Cam Atkinson; Assists: Davis Savard, Markus Nutivaara 
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets
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Mar 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and Boston Bruins center Danton Heinen (43) battle in front of the goal during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Mar 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and Boston Bruins center Danton Heinen (43) battle in front of the goal during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

BOSTON (AP) Brad Marchand scored a power-play goal early in the opening period and Tuukka Rask made it stand up with 20 saves for his third shutout of the season, lifting the surging Boston Bruins to a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

The victory improved the Bruins' streak of at least one point in every game to 16 straight (12-0-4) and they haven't lost in regulation since a 3-2 setback to the New York Rangers on Jan. 19. It's their longest since 18 games (14-0-4) last season.

Rask is 14-0-3 in his last 17 starts.

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Mar 1, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) battles with New Jersey Devils left wing Kenny Agostino (17) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Mar 1, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) battles with New Jersey Devils left wing Kenny Agostino (17) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

New Jersey-bred James van Riemsdyk wasn't friendly to his hometown team, as he led the Flyers in a 6-3 Devils loss on Friday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 12:53 PHI James van Riemsdyk (Power Play); Assists: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek
  • 14:16 PHI James van Riemsdyk; Assists: Ryan Hartman
Tags: Philadelphia Flyers
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Feb 27, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Calgary Flames center Mark Jankowski (77) skates with the puck against New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Feb 27, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Calgary Flames center Mark Jankowski (77) skates with the puck against New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils found themselves on the losing side of a low-scoring game at The Rock in a 2-1 loss to the Flames on Wednedsay night. >> Box score

Second period:

  • 1:07 CAL Elias Lindholm (Power Play); Assists: Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau
  • 13:52 CAL Mark Giordano; Assists: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan
  • 16:47 NJD Kevin Rooney (Short Handed)

 

Tags: Calgary Flames
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New Jersey Devils right wing Nathan Bastian celebrates his first NHL goal during the first period of their game against the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils right wing Nathan Bastian celebrates his first NHL goal during the first period of their game against the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Nathan Bastian scored his first-career goal as the Devils beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 12:35 NJD Nathan Bastian; Assists: Connor Carrick, Egor Yakovlev
Tags: Montreal Canadiens
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Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Marcus Johansson (90) carries the puck during the overtime against the New York Islanders at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Marcus Johansson (90) carries the puck during the overtime against the New York Islanders at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It went down to the wire Monday afternoon before the NHL trade deadline, but the Devils did trade pending unrestricted free agent Marcus Johansson to the Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick.

Earlier Monday, the Devils dealt goalie Keith Kinkaid to Columbus for a 2022 fifth-round pick.

Johansson is now teammates with Brad Marchand, who concussed Johansson last year and whom Johansson ripped for the vicious elbow which caused Johansson's second concussion of the 2017-18 season. Johansson was injured on Jan. 23 last year and didn't return until Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs on April 16.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Keith Kinkaid, Marcus Johansson
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