The New Jersey Devils made a statement move Sunday evening, acquiring All-Star forward Timo Meier, defensemen Scott Harrington and Santeri Hatakka, left-wing Timur Ibragimov, goaltender Zachary Emond, and a 2024 fifth-round pick.
Meier is a restricted free agent, and the deal was made without a contract extension in place, but Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald had this to say Monday about what acquiring Meier means to New Jersey.
“Everyone around here is aware of what Timo can bring to the table,” Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said during online media availability.
Meier has 154 goals and 162 assists in 451 games in just under seven seasons with the Sharks. Sharks General Manager Mike Grier issued the following statement about trading Meier.
“Timo has been an exceptional player and teammate for the Sharks franchise for the past seven seasons,” Sharks general manager Mike Grier said in a team-issued statement announcing the deal. “He was drafted here and has grown into one of the NHL’s most imposing power forwards and will be missed by his teammates on the ice and our organization off the ice. These decisions are always extremely difficult, but at this time, it is in the best interest of the organization’s goal to quickly return to being one of the NHL’s top teams. We wish Timo the very best, and he will always remain a part of the San Jose Sharks family for life.”
Devils’ Young Corp Remains Intact
New Jersey didn’t have to part ways with their young nucleus. Still, it sent defensemen Shakir Mukhamadullin and Nikita Okhotiuk, forwards Andreas Johnsson and Fabian Zetterlund, a 2023 first-round draft pick, a conditional 2024 first-round selection, and a 2024 seventh-round choice. New Jersey is also responsible for roughly $10 million in Meier’s remaining 2022-2023 salary.
Timo Meier 2023 Stats
Meier is having a terrific year with a career-high in power-play goals. Meier should add to that tally as the left-winger is expected to provide some punch to the 19th-best power play unit and is expected to join Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hishier and Doogie Hamilton on the Devil’s top power play line. Fitzgerald also added that he had a plan for Meier:
“We’re going to score goals, as you guys know, I just want the player to feel comfortable, that he understands the system, that he has time to learn it. And then once he feels comfortable — and knows our system like the back of his hand — he’s just going to play hockey.”
New Jersey Devils Futures Odds
Meier is certainly a difference-maker on the offensive end of the rink and DraftKings has some good future New Jersey Devils’ odds for the following New Jersey betting markets.
Can the New Jersey Devils Win the Metropolitan Division?
Yes, the New Jersey Devils can win the Metropolitan Division and +350 is a good price at DraftKings NJ.
The Carolina Hurricanes are a good club with a three-point lead over the Devils but New Jersey can catch them but they’ll need goaltender Vitek Vanecek to continue his stellar play and they must connect more on the power play and Meier should help them with that.
The Devils are close in the standings, didn’t give away anything that can hurt them and improved an offense with a +4 goal differential over Carolina. The Devils are better away from the Garden State and that’s helpful as 13 of their remaining 23 games are on the road. +350 for New Jersey to win the Metropolitan Division is a good bet.
Can the New Jersey Devils Win the Eastern Conference?
Yes, the New Jersey Devils can win the Eastern Conference and +750 is a fair price.
New Jersey is 3rd in the conference and they upgraded big time with the addition of Meier. Backup goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood was placed on IR but rookie netminder Akira Schmid pitched his 1st career shutout Sunday and at least the Devils have someone who can stop the puck if Vanecek gets injured.
The Boston Bruins and Hurricanes have been solid all season but so has New Jersey. The New York Rangers have upgraded and are rumored to get Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks. Tampa Bay and the Toronto Maple Leafs are all formidable clubs with playoff experience but New Jersey has hung with these teams all season and should put up a fight in the playoffs.
Fitzgerald filled a glaring weakness of the Devils power play and Meier should improve this and their above-average penalty kill is good enough to give Vanecek a chance. The Devils are young and fearless and if Vanecek gets hot these young fellas can reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
Will the New Jersey Devils win the Eastern Conference? Playoff hockey is much more intense than the regular season and while the Devils are fearless, the real question is are they tough enough to deal with the punishing physical nature of playoff hockey.
Meier answers part of the equation–Meier has playoff experience and is a big lad who instantly fits the bill but how the rest of the Devil’s young guns respond is worth staking a couple of bucks just to find out.
Stay tuned for more news that affect the landscape of legal online sports betting in New Jersey!