The New Jersey Devils have traded forward Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vancouver’s conditional first-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 draft (acquired in the J.T. Miller trade) and prospect Nolan Foote.
This is a significant price to pay for the Bolts; however, they needed to increase their grit level in order to be better prepared for a Stanley Cup run than they were last season.
Coleman is especially a player of interest in bangers leagues because of his back-to-back 20-goal seasons to complement his high hit total (his 166 hits leads the Devils). Until recently, he hadn’t been used much on the power play, as he had been relied upon more for his penalty killing abilities. Given the forward depth in Tampa Bay, he will likely be a second-unit power-play option at best.
This trade should not change Coleman's overall value and all he has to offer in multicategory leagues. There's a chance he could line up with Anthony Cirelli on both an even-strength and penalty-killing role. He could potentially push someone like Carter Verhaeghe down, but Coleman likely isn't being brought in to play on the first line, so his addition won't have a negative impact on any of the big guns. If he wasn't a top-line option in New Jersey, then he won't be in Tampa Bay.
For more on Coleman, see our Geek of the Week feature on him from last month.
Recent callup Nick Merkley is a player to watch for the Devils and could benefit from the departure of Coleman. Merkley has recorded two points in his two games with the Devils. He has not received much power-play time and his overall minutes have been limited, but the Coleman trade could clear a permanent roster spot for him.
For more on Foote, see his Dobber Prospects profile. His is currently with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets.
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