After several hours of inactivity, the New Jersey Devils made their first trade of the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline. As first reported by Darren Dreger of TSN, the Devils sent defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Dalton Prout.
Quincey to CLB for Dalton Prout— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 1, 2017
It is no surprise that Quincey was traded. He was a healthy scratch on Monday. He is a pending UFA who did not figure into the team’s current plans for rebuilding the roster. Combined with his cheap contract and ability to play right defense, he had interest. What I’m surprised was it was for a player and not a pick or some kind of prospect.
Prout is a defenseman who has appeared in only 15 games with Columbus this season and only averaged just over 13 minutes per game. While he has been a Blue Jacket since 2011-12 and played in 224 NHL games, he definitely was on the outside of the regular lineup. Prout is a right-handed shot, so I would figure he would slot in at right defense. Prout does not add much to Devils’ large amount of cap space, but at $1.575 million, he was not as economical as Quincey. And he is signed for another year as per CapFriendly. That assumes he remains in New Jersey by next season. Because of his contract and that he has played in over 70 games in the last two seasons, he can be exposed in the expansion draft. That’s not much of a benefit as the Devils could expose Moore, Merrill, and Lovejoy to meet the requirement of exposing at least one defenseman with 70 games in the last two seasons or 40 games in this season.
As a quick look at some of the analytics, here’s Dalton Prout’s HERO chart. The HERO chart tableau is by Dominic Galamini at his blog, Own the Puck. Prout, well, he’s a bottom pairing defenseman - at best. He doesn’t generate much offense, he seemingly is good at limiting the opposition’s offense, and that’s just about it.
I’m not a big fan of this trade. Yes, the Devils turned a late signing in August into something else. That’s good. But Prout doesn’t really move the needle for me. He doesn’t address a short-term need on defense, he doesn’t address anything long term so he’s not going to help in the rebuild, he adds a little cap space, and the spot in the lineup now left by Quincey could be used by Yohann Auvitu (remember him?) or perhaps someone else in Albany. I am left wondering why the Devils acquired Prout? I don’t know what else was being offered, was this really the best available offer? I think would rather have had a pick for Quincey, even if it was a 2018 third rounder or something like that.
What do you think of this trade? Do you think this is a good return for Quincey? What do you know about Dalton Prout? What else do you expect the Devils to do today? Please leave your answers and reactions to this trade in the comments. Thank you for reading.