In a blockbuster move, Edmonton has traded Taylor Hall to New Jersey.
UPDATE: The Devils have confirmed the move.
The move is a huge one for New Jersey, a team desperate to add scoring and offensive talent up front. It will also reunite Hall with his former junior linemate, Adam Henrique. The pair starred together for OHL Windsor, and captured a Memorial Cup.
Edmonton gets the right-handed defenseman it’s been looking for in Larsson, the fourth overall pick in 2011.
Immediate reactions to the trade consider this a huge win for the Devils. While Larsson is a good blueliner, his numbers hardly jump off the page and he recorded only 18 points last year, despite appearing in all 82 games (a career high).
Hall, meanwhile, is a dynamic skater with great goalscoring ability. He recorded 80 points in 75 games three seasons ago, and has broken the 25-goal plateau in three of his last five years in the league.
What’s more, Hall is on a fairly favorable contract. He’s signed through 2020 at $6 million per, which now makes him the Devils’ highest-paid forward.
Larsson is signed through 2021, at $4.16M annually. It’s a pretty decent contract for a guy that projects to be a top-pairing blueliner in Edmonton.
In making this move, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has now traded away the top two picks from 2010 in Hall and Tyler Seguin — the latter during his time as Bruins GM.
Dealing young, talented forwards is something Chiarelli said he wouldn’t shy away from upon taking the Edmonton gig.
“I’ve actually made a few trades of good, young forwards, so that’s something that I won’t shy away from,” he said back in April of 2015. “[The Seguin trade] was a trade that had underlying reasons that I won’t get into. But he’s a terrific player. He was our leading scorer. That’s what I’ll say about that one.
“In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades. … Those are ways to improve your team. … There are some very good young players on this team. Doesn’t mean that I’m going to trade any of them, but those are deals that you can’t be afraid to make.”