Taylor Hall is a New Jersey Devil. Wait what? Let that sink in for a moment.
Okay now the shock is over, the Devils have traded their 22-year old defensive stud Adam Larsson for former #1 overall pick Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers. According to Bob McKenzie, the deal is solely a 1-for-1 swap and involves no other pieces moving from either team.
Who is Taylor Hall?
Taylor Hall was drafted first overall in the 2010 "Taylor or Tyler" draft in which Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were contending for number one. Hall has been in the league for six years and has posted impressive numbers. In 381 NHL games, Hall has posted fantastic numbers. Scoring 132 goals and 196 assists, he's posted 328 points in his career.
Hall was also the junior teammate of current Devil Adam Henrique in Windsor and the two remain close off the ice as well.
This is possibly the biggest trade in Devils history. A 1-for-1 swap for a former #1 overall pick and #4 overall pick don't happen often. Hall is easily a top 5 LW in the NHL and will slot in New Jersey's top line comfortably. In addition to being only 24, Hall is signed at 6 million a year on a very good contract for his level of play.
However, losing Larsson is tough for all New Jersey fans. We've seen "total bust" Larsson develop into an elite defensive force on the blueline for the Devils and was becoming a force to be reckoned with. Although Larsson never put up elite offense, his defense made up for it and he was part of one of the top defensive pairs in the league. However, Larsson's skating will never be elite and will eventually hold him back offensively in the long-term.
At face value, the Devils win this trade big. Larsson was a big piece for New Jersey, but acquiring a top NHL player like Taylor Hall for Larsson is an unreal value and a trade that Shero had to make. Larsson could very well end up as a #1 guy in the NHL and steady force for the Oilers, but as a team starved for offense, the Devils did the right thing and acquired elite talent.
What do you think of the Hall for Larsson swap? Are the Devils winners? How will Hall perform in New Jersey? Let us know your thoughts and as always, thanks for reading.
P.S. - Thank you Adam for the fun times over the years and rock solid defense. Best of luck in Edmonton!