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Taylor Hall Traded to Coyotes; Devils Receive 1st-Round Pick, More

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall (9) skates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Left winger Taylor Hall is on the move.

The New Jersey Devils announced they traded Hall and left winger Blake Speers to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Arizona sent back its 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 conditional third-round pick, defenseman Kevin Bahl, right winger Nick Merkley and center Nate Schnarr in the deal.

The 2020 first-round pick is top-three protected and would turn into a first-round pick in 2021 should the Coyotes select in the top three of the upcoming draft.

If Hall re-signs with the Coyotes or Arizona wins a Stanley Cup playoff series, the 2021 third-round pick becomes a second-round pick. If both things happen, the pick becomes a 2021 first-round pick.

While Hall is one of the best players in the league, it's not a surprise he was traded.

The 28-year-old is in the final season of his contract and was playing for a Devils team that is in last place in the Metropolitan Division with 25 points at 10-17-5. Pete Blackburn of CBS Sports noted there was "little progress being made in the way of an extension," so New Jersey took the opportunity to accelerate its rebuild with the move.

Arizona also seized an opportunity while being in first place in the Pacific Division with 42 points at 19-12-4. It hasn't made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season.

The Coyotes need more scoring to be seen as a legitimate Stanley Cup threat since they are a mere 24th in the league in goals per game at 2.63. While their strong defense and goaltending have carried the way so far, Hall provides them with an offensive force who can take over games for extended stretches.

The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick is a two-time All-Star and won the 2017-18 Hart Memorial Trophy as the league MVP after scoring 93 points on 54 assists and 39 goals.

While Hall was limited to just 33 games last season because of injury, the left wing already has 25 points in 30 games in 2019-20 and gives the Coyotes the exact firepower they've been missing as they look to make a push toward a championship run.