Trade: Islanders land Palmieri, Devils’ return includes first-round pick

With Anders Lee out for the season, the New York Islanders needed scoring, and had cap space to get it. They once again completed a big trade with the Devils to do so, with Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac being involved in the move.

Islanders trade for Kyle Palmieri

Here’s how the Palmieri trade looks for the Islanders and Devils.

Islanders receive: Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac.

Devils receive: A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, the Islanders’ 2021 first-round pick, and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2022.

Devils also retain 50-percent of salaries for both Palmieri and Zajac to complete the trade with Islanders.

Zajac needed to waive his no-trade clause to make the deal happen.


Again, Palmieri helps fill the void left behind thanks to the Anders Lee injury. Palmieri, 30, is a pending UFA who’s struggled quite a bit this season. After scoring 24+ goals for five straight seasons (including the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign), Palmieri was limited to eight goals and 17 points in 34 games so far this season.

While the Islanders must hope that Palmieri rekindles his scoring touch, he does bring some value as a two-way player. That might make Palmieri more appealing to Barry Trotz and the Islanders than, say, maybe Taylor Hall? (Could depend upon who you ask, too.)

Lou Lamoriello enjoys Remembering Devils, so that helps to explain what would be the otherwise-startling inclusion of 35-year-old Travis Zajac.

Via Cap Friendly, these are the conditions for that fourth-rounder.

*Conditions: If the Islanders advance to the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Final, the 4th round pick upgrades to a 3rd in 2022 or 2023. Islanders have the option of which pick they will transfer.

Islanders trades are becoming a big part of Devils’ rebuild

Again, this is the second consecutive NHL trade deadline where the Islanders and Devils made a significant trade.

Last time around, the Islanders sent a 2021 second-round pick and John Quenneville to the Devils for Andy Greene. (The Islanders also spent big to trade for and then extend J.G. Pageau last trade deadline, so they’ve been going for it lately.)

Between the Greene and Palmieri trades, the Devils added the Islanders’ first and second-round picks for 2021, with a fourth-rounder that could turn into something in the third.

Immediately speaking, it’s not clear if the Devils will get much from the prospects involved in the Kyle Palmieri trade.

On one hand, A.J. Greer has some pedigree as an early second-rounder (39th overall) from the 2015 NHL Draft. On the other, he’s been pretty quiet at the AHL level at age 24. Mason Jobst is an undrafted 27-year-old with modest AHL numbers.

Overall, this seems like a decent win for both the Islanders and Devils. It’s up to Palmieri, in particular, to make this trade truly worthwhile for the Isles.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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