D-men like Adam Larsson are ‘hard to come by,’ says Schneider

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As a goalie, Cory Schneider can provide interesting perspective on his defensemen, including former teammate Adam Larsson.

The New Jersey Devils made the move to upgrade their offensive attack by acquiring Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers in an early-summer blockbuster. Larsson, 23 years old and a former first-round pick of the Devils, went the other way to the Oilers, as that team looked to upgrade its blue line — at quite a cost.

Larsson isn’t a flashy, offensive blue liner. He has nine goals and 69 points in 274 career games, and was on the ice for 1.68 goals for per 60 minutes at five-on-five last season, as per stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

Hall, on the other hand, has come close to hitting the 30-goal plateau in three of his six seasons in the league.

So it’s not a surprise that some believed the Devils immediately emerged from this trade as the winners, while the Oilers were criticized for the deal.

But having the opportunity to play with Larsson in New Jersey, Schneider told NJ.com that he “appreciated” the young defender, adding that he “committed himself to playing as tough a defense as he could.”

Larsson was on the ice for only 1.35 goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five, but he was also bolstered by a 94.63 save percentage in that same situation. Schneider was also among the top-10 goalies (with 2000 minutes played) in the league in save percentage at even strength last season.

“It’s hard to replicate that, you don’t find players like that very easily. That’s why Edmonton had to give up such a good player to get him, because they’re hard to come by,” Schneider told NJ.com.

“It will definitely create a hole for us, but we’re hoping that there’s some guys here that can fill that void and have a chance to step up.”

Related: Under pressure: Taylor Hall