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Jay Leach & Steven Zalewski Come to New Jersey in Minor Trade with San Jose

Thanks to Kevin for putting it up as a FanShot.  As reported by David Pollak at the San Jose Mercury News' hockey blog Working the Corners, the New Jersey Devils have made a trade today with the San Jose Sharks. They sent center Michael Swift and forward Patrick Davis to San Jose in exchange for defenseman Jay Leach and Steve Zalewski.  All four players were in the AHL at the time of the deal, and all four are on two-way contracts.  Follow along after the jump for a little bit of info on each of the players.

Here's who's gone to the San Jose organization.  Note: All contract information comes from CapGeek.

2010-11 in Albany - Michael Swift 54 16 12 28 -13 48 5 4 100 16.0 Two-way, $550k
2010-11 in Albany - Patrick Davis 40 3 10 13
-11 22 2 0 51 5.88 Two-way, $500k

Swift was Albany's second leading scorer, which isn't saying much about the AHL affiliate if 28 points is good enough for second place in scoring.   Davis did get a cup of coffee in the NHL in 2008-09 (1 game) and 2009-10 (8 games); but he was clearly surplus to parts.  Both players are in the final year of their current contracts.

Here's who the Devils are getting in return.

2010-11 in Worcester - Jay Leach 50 1 4 5 -4 45 0 0 51 1.96 Two-way, $550k
2010-11 in Worcester - Steve Zalewski 50 4 17 21
-2 14 1 0 96 4.17 Two-way, $500k

Leach is the oldest one in the deal, and the one with the most NHL experience. Leach has played 63 games in the NHL in his career; 35 with San Jose last season.  While I think he's like Rob Davison in that he's pretty much a minor league player, should there be further unavailable defensemen, Leach can do spot duty on a third pairing - nothing more than that. Even that's a stretch given that he's now in an organization filled with blueliners.  If the Devils have to go to Albany for a defenseman, they can easily call up Olivier Magnan-Grenier, Dan Kelly, Harry Young, Alexander Urbom (but only for a game or two, unless they want to start his ELC now), or even Davison.   I'd be shocked if Leach comes to New Jersey to play this season.  At least he's familiar with how things are done in New Jersey. 

Zalewski gives Albany a replacement center, but there's no reason to believe he'll knock any socks off.   He wasn't drafted was drafted in the 5th round in the 2004 NHL Draft, he went and played 4 years at Clarkson University, and signed a pro-deal with Worcester.  He did get 3 NHL games in 2009-10 (no points), while enjoying a 22 goal and 40 assist season with the AHL Sharks.  Needless to say, he's not remotely meeting what he did last season.  Hence, he remains in the AHL.  Who knows, maybe he'll get his groove back in upstate New York?

Basically, this really is a minor deal.  The Sharks get two guys on expiring deals, the Devils get two guys on expiring deals, and it's likely all four will remain in the AHL.  In the comments to Kevin's FanShot, Tom - who has followed Albany this season - thinks this deal can allow the AHL Devils to split up Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson, while get some cover for Tyler Eckford.  We shall see, but only in Albany.