Lou Lamoriello, the Devils GM, was inducted to the USA Hockey Hall of Fame last October.
Almost nothing ever gets leaked when it comes to Devils rumors though, which means trying to predict Lamoriello’s thought process is nearly impossible.
Lamoriello is arguably the most discrete GM in the league, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing his job. In fact, he is one of the best GMs in the NHL. His three Stanley Cup Championships and his place in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame say a lot about his success.
So which players on the Devils need to worry about being traded?
It’s hard to predict, but it’s safe to assume that these five players have other teams pursuing them.
Peter Harrold played in 17 playoff games for the Devils last season.
Last season, defenseman Peter Harrold played a big role for the Devils during their Stanley Cup run.
It’s nice to see the 29-year-old finally get some NHL minutes; he has been back and forth between the AHL and NHL for some time now.
Add his recent success to the Devils influx of defensemen and Harrold can attract the attention of a few organizations.
As of now, the Devils have seven defensemen on one-way contracts, plus Adam Larsson. Larsson's play last year makes him deserving of an NHL roster spot, which means that one or more defensemen need to go.
Harrold could be a second or third pair defenseman on a couple teams in the NHL. With one year left on his contract, and with a low cap hit, he would be a great rental for some teams trying to make a playoff push.
Mark Fayne was one of five Devils to play in all 82 games during the regular season.
Mark Fayne made a name for himself last season, but, like Harrold, Fayne needs to worry about being traded.
Fayne was one of the five Devils that played all 82 games during the regular season last year. He saw time on the power play and penalty kill, and is a durable player that has all-around attributes.
Some teams will show interest in Fayne once the lockout ends because he is still relatively young and useful in different game situations.
If Lamoriello packages him with a draft pick or another defenseman, the Devils can find themselves a decent top-nine forward.
Travis Zajac was injured for almost all of last season.
It’s hard to stomach, but the Devils may have to part ways with their No. 1 center before his contract expires next summer.
Zajac has tremendous trade value and it may be of the Devils' best interest to trade him before he hits free agency. The team would rather gain assets in exchange for him than have him walk and gain nothing.
If Adam Henrique continues to develop, he can be a great No. 1 center for the Devils, which would soften the blow of losing Zajac. Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus also can play center if needed.
Missing almost all of the regular season last year appeared to be a setback for Zajac, but his performance in the playoffs proved that to be wrong.
Zajac played in all 24 playoff games for the Devils and saved the team from elimination in Game 6 against the Florida Panthers in the first round. He recorded 14 points, which was good for third on the team.
In return for Zajac, the Devils could receive a top draft pick and a prospect or two, or an elite forward.
Henrik Tallinder returned from injury for the final three games of the Stanley Cup.
Henrik Tallinder has gone under-the-radar for the Devils in the two years he has been on the team.
His statistics may not pop out, but he has been a great shutdown defenseman.
Tallinder is the perfect player for NHL teams to rent at the trade deadline; he is a veteran defenseman that has experience in the playoffs.
If the Devils were to move him, it would also open up some space for a defensive prospect such as Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Alexander Urbom or Matt Corrente.
Tallinder only played in 39 games last season because of a blood clot in his leg, which may convince Lamoriello that he is injury prone and must be traded.
David Clarkson scored a career high 30 goals last season.
The surprise player for the Devils last year was David Clarkson. He set a career high with 30 goals, which shattered his previous career high of 17. Also, he recorded a career high of 46 points, which was 14 more than his previous career high in the 2008-09 season.
He did all this while still recording 138 penalty minutes.
Any player that can fight and stick up for teammates, without sacrificing his offensive capabilities, is extremely valuable to any NHL team.
Clarkson’s contract will expire this summer, which means the Devils are in the same position with him as they are with Zajac. The team cannot afford to have him walk and gain nothing from it, so if Lamoriello feels that he won’t be able to re-sign him, trading him would be the best option.
Clarkson is 28 years old, which means he is at the peak of his career and many teams will be pursuing him.
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