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Trade Grades: Devils Acquire Jacob Markstrom From Calgary

Jacob Markstrom
Jacob Markstrom is on the move. The Devils have added the veteran goalie from Calgary. Let’s hand out some trade grades! (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Trade Grades: Devils Acquire Jacob Markstrom From Calgary

The Devils finally got their hands on a goalie. It killed their entire season last year. Now Jersey has Jacob Markstrom. Will this acquisition prove savvy or dumb? That’s what we’re here to talk about so let’s get to the trade grades.

Calgary Flames: Grade B-

In this deal, the Flames add Kevin Bahl and a 2025 first round pick. They also eat $1.875 million in dead money through the 2026 season. This return would be a much easier pill to swallow if they weren’t eating this dead money for multiple seasons.

Bahl, 23, is cheap making an AAV of $1.05 million through 2025 with multiple years of control. He’s most likely a third pair guy posting 12 points last year but does have some length at 6-foot-6. Credit to Calgary for collecting depth on D. They have certainly accomplished that much.

The first round pick is also nice but it’s next year’s pick. Jersey will probably be much better and can’t possibly get worse goaltending than last year. They’re picking 10 this year. The 2025 pick most likely will be much lower.

I think Craig Conroy did fine here. It’s not a home run trade but he did pick up a couple of assets for an aging commodity that needed to be moved in the rebuilding environment. Flames fans shouldn’t be pissed about this deal but there was room from growth here. It’s not going to look great if Markstrom dominates, which he very well could on an improved young team.

New Jersey Devils: Grade A-

I love this deal for Jersey. They get Markstrom’s cap hit down to $4.125 million cap hit. A good deal for a guy with a SV% of .909. How can it get worse than last year? If he’s merely average Markstrom, he’s a massive upgrade over what they got last year.

Also, the tandem as a whole feels better. Jake Allen as the backup feels trustworthy. This feels like a real plan that can get them 82 reliable games in net.

The price wasn’t crazy. Was Bahl even going to make their top 6 D? Probably not with all the young guns coming on that side. Just listing them quickly, they already have Hamilton, Hughes, Nemec, Siegenthaler, Marino, and I haven’t gotten to any of the hyped prospects yet.

At the end of the day; they would have never gotten Markstrom for this number on the open market. So you have to pay the Flames to reduce the price. A first and Bahl seems like a more than fair deal to fill the team’s biggest need.

Kudos to Tom Fitzgerald who *probably* solved his goalie situation without draining the chest of assets.

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