Tom Fitzgerald
Photo credit: Kathy Willens | AP Photo

REPORT: Former First Round Selection For The Devils Is Officially Available For Trade

Published January 3, 2024 at 11:52
According to sources the New Jersey Devils are putting former 2016 first round selection Michael McLeod on the trade block.

Michael McLeod is playing great right now

Michael McLeod appeared used to just playing the fourth line centre role for New Jersey last season, but in the playoffs something clicked and his play elevated to a whole new level. Usual that play would recede come the next season, but in fact he has been one of the best forwards on New Jersey and is leading the league in face-off percentage.

"The truth of the matter is that McLeod's value has never been higher. He's playing in an elevated role on New Jersey's third line this season. Further, in the absence of New Jersey's captain, Nico Hischier, and Jack Hughes early in the year, McLeod impressed while skating in the top six. Plus, his low-cost, short-term contract gives buyers flexibility.

The 25-year-old already has three more goals than his total in all of last season. He is just two shy of his career-high (nine) with 47 games remaining in 2023-24. He's on track to set career highs in goals and points pro-rated over an 82-game season."

The Devils' need is in net and many have linked John Gibson to the team

The Devils' goaltending has been a major issue this season, coaching aside, as it seems that no matter who is in net, a beach ball could pass through. It has gotten so bad that the Devils brought up Nico Daws from the AHL, who recently returned from a long injury recovery, and sent Akira Schmid to the AHL.

Now the goaltending has rebounded slightly over the past couple weeks as Daws won his game, and Vanecek has had a save percentage above 0.900 consistently. But rumours never go away.

"So, who might want a forward with McLeod's skillset?

Well, look no further than the Anaheim Ducks who have often been in attendance at the Prudential Center scouting New Jersey. We know Fitzgerald has a twinkle in his eye for goaltender John Gibson. We know the Devils need better-quality goaltending. And we know New Jersey has enough forwards to fill the potential gap in McLeod's absence.

From the Ducks' perspective, Anaheim head coach Greg Cronin loves McLeod-type players. McLeod's toolkit certainly fits in a Cronin system. The Mississauga, Ontario native can slide right into the lineup that's missing Leo Carlsson and is suspected to move pending unrestricted free agent, Adam Henrique."

John Gibson has rebounded this year after four years of poor play on a bad Ducks roster, and many are thinking he is back to being a number one goaltender.

The Devils could also have a reunion with Henrique, which would have a nice nostalgic feeling.

As Read On Marker Zone - MAJOR: Devils First-Round Pick Officially Available for Trade
January 3   |   81 answers
REPORT: Former First Round Selection For The Devils Is Officially Available For Trade

Will Michael McLeod even be traded?

No3948.1 %
Yes4251.9 %
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