The New Jersey Devils had a strong regular season, finishing as the third-best team in the NHL standings for the 2022-23 campaign. However, their playoff run came to an end in the second round when they faced off against the second-ranked Carolina Hurricanes and lost in five games. Looking to improve their chances in the next postseason, the Devils made a significant move by acquiring veteran winger Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames through a trade. In exchange, the Devils sent the rights to restricted free agent Yegor Sharangovich and the 80th overall pick in the upcoming draft to Calgary.
The Devils’ offense was solid during the regular season, ranking fifth in the NHL in goals per game with an average of 3.52. However, their playoff performance highlighted the need for improvement, as they averaged just 2.50 goals per game. One area of concern was their ability to finish scoring chances. This is where Tyler Toffoli comes into the picture. The 31-year-old winger had an exceptional season with the Flames, scoring a career-high 34 goals in 82 games. Toffoli is known for his finishing ability, making him an ideal addition to the Devils’ roster.
Imagining Toffoli alongside talented players like Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, or Nico Hischier brings excitement to Devils fans. Toffoli’s presence on the team’s power play could also be a game-changer, as the Devils’ power play struggled in the playoffs, converting only 16.7% of their opportunities. With 10 power-play goals to his name last season, Toffoli could provide the offensive spark the Devils need in crucial situations.
Notably, Toffoli is in the final year of his four-year contract, which he signed with the Montreal Canadiens in 2020. His contract carries an average annual value of $4.25 million, a reasonable price for a player who scored 34 goals. The fact that Toffoli’s contract is expiring adds flexibility to the Devils’ acquisition. If Toffoli doesn’t meet expectations, both parties can part ways without any long-term consequences.
On the other side of the trade, the Flames received Yegor Sharangovich, a 25-year-old winger who recorded 24 goals last season. While Sharangovich doesn’t contribute much defensively, he has shown promise as a goal scorer. As a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, Sharangovich could potentially secure a contract similar to Toffoli’s. For the Devils, Sharangovich was a forward they could afford to trade, and the inclusion of a draft pick made this deal even more favorable for New Jersey.
The circumstances surrounding Toffoli’s desire to leave Calgary are also worth considering. After Darryl Sutter’s departure as head coach and Brad Treliving’s firing as general manager, several Flames players were reportedly looking for a change. Toffoli, who was acquired by the Flames in 2022 and had a successful stint under Sutter in Los Angeles, may have been one of those players. This trade allowed Toffoli to join a new team and potentially thrive in a different environment.
While some may argue that Sharangovich and a draft pick may not be enough in return for a 30-goal scorer like Toffoli, it is important to acknowledge that the Devils secured a valuable player for their playoff aspirations. The trade represents a win for Devils’ general manager Craig Conroy, who was able to acquire a proven goal scorer to bolster the team’s offense.
In summary, the New Jersey Devils made a significant move by acquiring Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames. Toffoli’s goal-scoring ability and experience make him a valuable addition to the Devils’ roster. With the right linemates and a role on the power play, Toffoli has the potential to elevate the Devils’ offensive game and contribute to a successful playoff run in the future.