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The New Jersey Devils sit 30th in the NHL, have won just 16 of their last 48 games, and it's unknown when their best player, Taylor Hall, will suit up again.
With the playoffs all but officially out of the question, it is crystal clear the Devils will be selling players leading up to, and at, the trade deadline.
They started the process on Wednesday when they traded beloved veteran Brian Boyle to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2nd round pick in this year's draft.
The trade was met with mixed emotions from Boyle, and many fans, but he was quick to point out the NHL is a business. GMs are paid to act accordingly and, from a business perspective, the trade was a homerun.
Boyle's counting totals are solid – especially for a 4th liner – but they are heavily inflated because of his power play usage. He's been a constant on PP1, logging more minutes on the man advantage than all Devils forwards beyond Kyle Palmieri and Nico Hischier. That has resulted in plenty of garbage goals for the big man. They still count the same, of course, but I don't think many teams that would have Boyle on PP1. Some
wouldn't have him on PP2 either. If that were the case, his production would look a lot less impressive because he's pretty ineffective at 5v5.
On the year, Boyle has averaged 1.04 points per 60 minutes played. That ranks him below names like Kyle Clifford, Tyler Motte, Devante Smith-Pelly, Garnet Hathaway, Barclay Goodrow, and Dale Weise, among many, many others. Would you trade a 2nd round pick – or anything close – for any of those guys? No, you'd hang up before the question could even be finished.
His on-ice numbers are not exactly great either. He ranks 2nd to last on the Devils with a 44.99 Corsi For%. He doesn't fare much better in the goal department, posting a 45.24 Goals For%. Does he have great linemates to work with? No, but it's not like he is facing quality competition.
I'm not at all trying to rip on Boyle. He is a useful player. He plays with some bite, he can chip in a few goals, help on special teams, and there's probably not a better person you could add to the locker room.
All I'm saying is – strictly based on performance – he's not a guy who should warrant a 2nd round pick.
Ray Shero and co. have to be ecstatic with the return.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com.
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