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Devils Trade the Franchise

That is exactly what the Devils did this past week as they traded franchise forward Jarome Iginla to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Andrew Ladd, Bobby Ryan and the 2nd overall pick in this years draft. It was a franchise shaker and it signaled that the Devils organization had decided to go in a rebuilding mode for the next season or two as they stock up on younger, cheaper talent. Players such Scott Walker, Henrik Tallinder and Brad Lukowich could find their way out of town. The deal was slightly bigger than advertised, as farm player Philippe Dupuis was also in the deal heading to Washington. The Devils also acquired a pair of 3rd round picks, bringing their total number of picks in the draft up to four.

With the draft underway the Devils have already selected smallish forward Patrick Kane at 2nd overall and hope he can be the teams next franchise player. He is small but very talented and can shoot or pass the puck with his fantastic hands and his hockey sense is next to none in this draft class. He is probably a year or two away from the Devils.

Also coming to New Jersey is right wing Bobby Ryan who has had lots of questions about his abilities since he was drafted but the Devils feel he is still a very talented forward and still well worth the 4th overall pick that was used on him 2 years ago. Ryan projects as an offensive powerforward and him and Kane could form a deady 1-2 punch for years to come in the NEFHL. The only downside with Ryan at this time appears to be his skating, but if that is taken care out. He would be with the NEFHL pro team as soon as next season.

The last key component of the trade was Andrew Ladd, who like Ryan, has had questions thrown his way about his abilities - except with Ladd it isn't his skating but his offensive game. It's a shame these questions are already being brought up as Ladd is only 21 years old and has years of development left in him before he hits his prime. Ladd has great upside in the scoring department still and the Devils organization are extremely high on him, thinking he has Erik Cole type upside.

Ladd has already been traded 6 times in the NEFHL but the Devils vow that he will remain with the organization for a long time. The Devils are very excited at the possibility of having a big, physical winger being able to line up with Kane in the future.

Dupuis was not going to hold the deal from happening and was easily throw in with Iginla. The Devils had fallen out of favor with him and were more than happy to trade him away to open up a roster spot for one of the signings the team is panning. The 3rd round picks the team got back have already been in trade talks, but most teams are waiting until the 2nd round to talk seriously about acquiring them.

Chances are the Devils will take a pair of players.