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Pavel Zacha Saga; Conor Garland & Brock Boeser

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Image for Pavel Zacha Saga; Conor Garland & Brock Boeser

As the NHL trade deadline looms closer to March 21st the New Jersey Devils aren’t exactly sellers this season but they are near-term buyers to help peel off certain players in the lineup. Locking in potential deals whether it’s Brock Boeser or Conor Garland the Devils look to dangle certain players like a Pavel Zacha or a team that may be interested in Ty Smith. The New Jersey Devils will most certainly ask for their fair share of a premium for any of their assets that will end up getting parlayed.

Pavel Zacha LW/C

The Vancouver Canucks have an interest in the New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha for a very possible trade. How can Pavel fit in Vancouver? 

The Canucks per CapFriendly.com has 4 players on LTIR and has no cap space. Pavel Zacha is 24 years of age, an RFA with $2.250 Million looking to get a pay raise. Having someone like Pavel Zacha who can be more of a winger will bring a big body and playmaking ability to a Canucks lineup looking for a nice cash infusion and helping reduce their cap burden. 

One of a few knocks on Pavel’s game is the fact that he doesn’t play a physical game and maybe Bruce Boudreau can work on Zacha more often with that part of his game. Zacha is on pace to break his career season-best 17 goals and 18 assists already in this 82 game season.

If Vancouver is looking to save about $5.875 Million in cap space by the end of the NHL season then they might be able to retain or bolster their team in the Western Conference next season.

Brock Boeser RW

Brock Boeser brings in that RFA that is looking for a big payday north of that $5.875 Million and likely worth $8 Million come to this 2022 offseason. In the past 3 seasons, Brock has had an Even Strength Offense north of 7 Goal Above Replacement. The xGAR is 3 so Brock’s twice as productive over his even-strength points production the past 3 years. 

On the Power Play Offense, his GAR has been down by near a point at over 2. The xGAR is under 3 which might have been affected due to this season under recently fired coach Travis Green. 

The Travis Green effect has been a big burden on Boeser’s ability on a near term damaging near -7 GAR over -1 xGAR. But the outlier has been Boeser being able to have near a positive 5 GAR and xGAR 4 goals. If Boeser begins producing just enough then the Vancouver Canucks might be asking for a higher bid on Boeser in a trade package.

Conor Garland RW

Conor’s situation has 3 year GAR under 9 Goals Above Replacement beating his xGAR of 6 plus. PP offence Garland has slightly underperformed on the power play which is better than his xGAR of near -1.

In Conor Garland’s season now the Even Strength numbers are the 12 GAR over his xGAR of 4+ So Conor has outproduced his expected Goals Above Replacement by near 8 points. Power Play Offense Garland is a -3 and a near -1 on the PP Offense.

Conclusion

Like Boeser versus Conor Garland in a previous trade article. If you haven’t seen my other take please check the Pavel Zacha and Vancouver Canucks trade rumour one for another perspective I had published recently.

The way Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils GM would be to get not only a great even strength scorer but a guy that can be lights out on the power play. That player would be Boeser it’s not an opinion but it’s a proven fact if you look at his play, his career production, and the lethal shooting.

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Former writer for Pucks and Pitchforks and The Puck Authority. I cover New Jersey Devils hockey and NHL Draft prospects. I have a podcast called Heads Up Hockey on Anchor.fm Also I write for Full Press Hockey.