Devils trade Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac to Islanders in major move ahead of deadline | What it means

Another trade deadline is here, and two Devils veterans are heading out the door in one deal.

The Devils traded forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, shipping out the two pending unrestricted free agents for a 2021 first-round pick, a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick, prospect A.J. Greer and prospect Mason Jobst.

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the fourth-round pick can become a third-round pick in 2022 or 2023 if the Islanders reach the Stanley Cup Final this season. New York would have the option to decide which year the draft pick goes to the Devils if that happened.

A Palmieri trade was inevitable after the Devils made the 30-year-old a precautionary scratch on Sunday, with just eight days to go until the trade deadline. The Devils held him out of the lineup again during Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres to prevent a possible injury that could hamper a deal.

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Zajac’s inclusion in the deal is a much bigger surprise. The lifelong Devil declined a potential trade last season, but this time around, he waived his no-trade clause to facilitate the deal.

Zajac hit the 1,000-game mark with the Devils earlier this season, and with his two goals on Sunday, he pulled into a third-place tie for goals by a Devil…

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