On Monday, the NJDevils made a few trades that could benefit the Binghamton Devils immensely for their playoff run. Interim GM Tom Fitzgerald was in town to take in both games against the Charlotte Checkers on Friday as well as Saturday and pulled the trigger on Monday.
Defenseman Sami Vatanen was dealt that included forward Janne Kuokkanen and defenseman Fredrik Claesson to NJ.
NEWS: The #NJDevils have made these transactions:— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) February 25, 2020
1⃣ Colton White has been assigned to Binghamton
2⃣ Michael McLeod & Fredrik Claesson are recalled (will join the team in Detroit)
3⃣ Joey Anderson & Dakota Mermis were assigned to AHL then recalled (paper transaction)
The 21 year-old Kuokkanen was the leading point producer (12g, 30a in 52 games) for the Charlotte Checkers while Claesson returns for his second stint in Binghamton as a former member of the Binghamton Senators in the past 2012-’17 seasons. But for now, Claesson will remain up top for NJ while Colton White has been sent down to Binghamton.
Janne Kuokkanen moving to New Jersey. Fluid skater, good hands, very smart. Doesn’t have high-end offensive upside, but is very versatile and does everything well. Just 21 years old but already has three full seasons of AHL experience. @EPRinkside #NJDevils https://t.co/J5Or33bgza— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) February 24, 2020
Also, forward Nick Merkley was moved to the BDevils while defenseman Dakota Mermis and forward Joey Anderson were papered. Goaltender swaps including Louis Domingue to Vancouver for Zane McIntyre were a bit of a surprise. Forward Michael McLeod should get an extended look for NJ as his time has run short in the AHL.
Since the weekend games in Binghamton, Charlotte has lost both goalies in Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg to parent club Carolina and Kuokkanen along with Claesson to a trade, forward Eetu Luostarinen and defenseman Chase Priskie as well.
This should be a major boost for the BDevils as they are currently three points out of a playoff position in the North Division with 21 games remaining. The BDevils are idle until this coming weekend when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday followed by the Toronto Marlies on Saturday.