The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired forward Blake Coleman in a trade with the New Jersey Devils in exchange for prospect Nolan Foote and a conditional first-round pick that originally belonged to the Vancouver Canucks, the Devils announced Sunday.
New Jersey will receive a first-round pick in 2021 if Vancouver fails to reach the postseason this year. Should the Canucks reach the playoffs, the Devils will receive a 2020 first-round pick.
Coleman is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his four-year career, totaling 21 goals and 10 assists in 57 appearances. He is tied for third in the NHL with three shorthanded goals on the year. The 28-year-old is also an aggressive player defensively, and his 166 hits on the season are good for 13th in the NHL.
His two-way ability could be valuable for a team that has its eyes on the Stanley Cup. The Lightning rank second in the league with 83 points through 59 games, trailing only a fellow Eastern Conference squad, the Boston Bruins.
With a 10-game winning streak, Tampa Bay has showed it has what it takes to match up with anyone in the sport. Of course, the team is smart to be aggressive ahead of the trade deadline after a disappointing end to 2018-19. The team won the Presidents' Trophy before being swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
This trade could bring the Lightning one step closer to competing for a championship.
Meanwhile, it continues a rebuild for New Jersey, which sits in last place in the Metropolitan Division. Though Coleman was under contract for another season, the deal returns valuable assets that will help in the future:
Foote, the son of former Colorado Avalanche star Adam Foote, was a first-round pick in 2019 and could help the team down the line.
After also trading captain Andy Greene to the New York Islanders, per ESPN, the Devils are clearly in sell mode.