7 assets the Flames could target in a Jacob Markstrom trade with the Devils

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
On Saturday night’s edition of Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped a minor bombshell: the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils had some trade talks regarding Jacob Markstrom. It’s worth noting that (a) trade talks broke down due to some stumbling blocks and (b) Markstrom has a full no-move clause, so who knows if a trade ends up coming together.
But if the Flames and Devils were to hash something out, what assets could the Flames try to wrangle out of the Garden State?

Draft picks

A first-round pick: If the Flames are hoping to make their retooling process rapid and successful, they have a better chance if they have early picks and use them well. The Devils have their own first-rounders in each of the next three drafts. The Flames would probably like one.
A second-round pick: Let’s say the Flames ask for a first-rounder and the Devils respond with “Nah.” A second-rounder is nearly as good, as a lot of very good prospects slide past 32nd overall. The Devils don’t have a second-rounder in this year’s draft, but they have their own picks in 2025 and 2026.
If you want to have a retool that works, you need to find aces in the draft. And the best time to do that is early. And the best strategy is to have good scouts and give them lots of early picks.

Young blueliners

If you look at the Flames’ reserve list, it’s a bit lean in young defencemen and centres. So… it would be reasonable to expect the Flames to try to rectify that. (Heck, they already obtained Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo from Elias Lindhom swap with Vancouver to shore up their blueline.)
Seamus Casey (20; unsigned) was a second-round pick in 2020 and is in his sophomore season at the University of Michigan. After a pretty good freshman season, he’s really taken another step offensively with 34 points in 27 games. Yeah, it helps that his team is stacked, but Casey is a strong college blueliner and he’s a rightie.
Santeri Hatakka (23; $850,833) was a San Jose draft pick in 2019 and came over to the Devils in the Timo Meier trade. He’s a left shot defender from Finland and doesn’t quite project as an offensive difference-maker, but he’s been a steady two-way defender in the NHL and AHL. The Flames system needs a bit of depth, and at the very least Hatakka would help with that.

Young centres

Dawson Mercer (22; $894,167) was a first-rounder in 2020 and he’s in his third season in the NHL. He has 24 points in 49 games this season with the Devils. He’s a right shot forward who’s bounced between centre and the wing, and he seems to have a lot of potential but hasn’t quite carved out his precise niche in the NHL yet.
Graeme Clarke (22; $850,833) was a third-rounder in 2019, and he feels like a poor man’s Dawson Mercer, which is meant as a compliment. He’s a right-shot forward who can play centre or wing. He been a really reliable, consistent AHLer… but hasn’t quite broken through into the NHL yet. After three seasons in the AHL with Utica, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery? (It might be awkward, though: Matt Coronato fought his brother before the AHL All-Star break.)
Samu Salminen (20; unsigned) was a third-rounder in 2021. He’s a left-shot centre who’s currently in his sophomore year at the University of Connecticut, where he plays with Flames prospect Arsenii Sergeev. He was a really productive player in Finnish junior, and he seems to be making an adjustment to college. (He has 10 points in 27 games this season after posting 17 points in 27 games last season.)
What would you like to see the Flames acquire in a potential trade with the Devils? Let us know your ideas in the comments!

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