Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac Traded to Islanders; Devils Get 1st-round Pick, More

Blake SchusterContributor IApril 7, 2021

Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Islanders acquired forwards Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday ahead of the NHL's April 12 trade deadline.

New York is sending forwards A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, a first-round pick in 2021 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 to the Devils. New Jersey will also retain 50 percent of the salaries for both Palmieri and Zajac.

Palmieri, 30, is a native of Long Island and has posted eight goals and nine assists in 34 games this season. Zajac, 35, was the 20th overall pick by New Jersey in 2004 and has seven goals and 11 assists in 33 games this year.

The Islanders (25-10-4, 54 points) entered Wednesday tied for first place in the East Division with the Washington Capitals.

The Devils are expected to miss the postseason for the eighth time in the last nine years after falling to the Los Angeles King in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

New Jersey entered Wednesday at 13-18-6 (32 points) and 14 points back of the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. If not for a Buffalo Sabres team that strung together an 18-game winless streak, the Devils would be squarely in last.

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This is clearly a move to help the Devils in the long run, while New York appears all-in on a postseason run this year.

Zajac is set to reach free agency this offseason after finishing an eight-year, $46 million deal that began in 2013. Palmieri is also expected to reach free agency this offseason after completing a five-year, $23.3 million contract.

According to CapFriendly, the Islanders still have a hair over $3 million in cap space to work with ahead of the deadline. As April 12 nears, New York may still have a few moves left to make.