San Jose Sharks
What Are Reasonable Sharks-Devils Meier Trades? (+)
So the New Jersey Devils want “a final shot” at a Timo Meier trade?
That’s what Elliotte Friedman indicated yesterday on his 32 Thoughts Podcast.
What might that final shot look like? Here’s how some NHL sources see the New Jersey farm system.
Friedman dropped an interesting note on his podcast about what the San Jose Sharks could expect from the Devils in a Meier trade.
He noted there’s a lot of interest in New Jersey’s defensive prospects. It’s worth adding that Friedman didn’t necessarily say this in connection to Meier.
“I don’t think Nemec is going anywhere,” Friedman said of the Devils’ 2022 second-overall pick. “I can’t imagine that.”
He mentioned 2020 first-rounder Shakir Mukhamadullin, 2019 second-rounder Nikita Okhotyk, and 2017 third-rounder Reilly Walsh as being of some interest league-wide.
Conspicuously absent from Friedman’s musings was 2021 fourth-overall selection Luke Hughes, who’s more highly-regarded than even Simon Nemec. Safe to say, and I can confirm this from my own sources, Hughes is untouchable.
For the San Jose Sharks, who I’ve been told are looking for perhaps up to three pieces in a Meier trade – a first-round pick and two Grade-B prospects, a first-round pick and a Grade-A prospect, or a first-round pick and a Grade-B prospect and a young NHL player – I think only Nemec or Mukhamadullin would move the needle?
An NHL executive suggested to San Jose Hockey Now yesterday that the Bo Horvat trade is the low bar of what the Sharks are looking for – assuming pending RFA Meier is willing to extend. That’s a 1st, a Grade-B prospect (Aatu Raty), and a young, established NHL player (Anthony Beauvillier).
It doesn’t mean that Walsh or Okhotyk couldn’t be in a Meier trade, but they wouldn’t be significant pieces.
Sources suggest to me that Nemec is to be considered a Grade A-B tweener of a prospect, while Mukhamadullin is a Grade-B.
Now these are not hard-and-fast grades. One NHL scout or organization may see Nemec as a sure-fire Grade-A and another may see him as a A-B tweener.
But it gives you a sense of actual value today, as opposed to when the prospect was drafted.
Just for example, expanding the conversation to New Jersey prospects up front, 2020 seventh-overall pick Alexander Holtz was likely a Grade-A when selected, but now, he’s probably considered a Grade-B. 2020 18th-overall pick Dawson Mercer, who obviously has already graduated to the NHL, was probably a Grade-B prospect on draft day, but has developed into a likely Grade-A asset.
Defensemen Seamus Casey and Kevin Bahl, forwards Arseni Gritsyuk and Nolan Foote, and goalie Akira Schmid are among New Jersey’s other top prospects, though they probably trail Mercer, Hughes, Nemec, Holtz, and Mukhamadullin in terms of league-wide perception.
Of the secondary group, 2022 second-rounder Casey might be the most intriguing.
“He’s a B-C tweener,” a scout from outside the San Jose Sharks organization told SJHN. “Havelid is better.”
In a comparison of the smallish, puck-moving rearguards, the San Jose Sharks selected Havelid 45th-overall last year, right ahead of No. 46 Casey.
Assuming the Devils can extend Meier – and assuming there’s another team that also sees him as a long-term franchise cornerstone, thus inciting a bidding war – could the Devils offer Nemec and a 1st? Mercer and a 1st? Or Holtz, Mukhamadullin, and a 1st?
“It’s probably the third one,” the scout guessed, in terms of likelihood, when presented with these core packages.
Anyway, it’s clear that New Jersey has a deep bench of Grade-B to A assets to offer to the San Jose Sharks for Meier.
There’s a deal to be made with the Devils, will it be made?
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