NHL Trade Alert: Avalanche send defenseman Ryan Graves to Devils

Avalanche trade Ryan graves
Jun 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves (27) stretches before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights in game five of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils acquired defenseman Ryan Graves from the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in exchange for forward Mikhail Maltsev and their second-round pick in this month’s NHL draft.

Graves, 26, has two years left on his current contract with an average annual value of $3,166,667.

Avalanche trade Graves rather than lose him to Seattle

Graves averaged a career-high 19:03 of time on ice for the Avalanche in 2020-21, scoring two goals and adding 13 assists over 54 games. In 149 games over three seasons, Graves has recorded 14 goals and 32 helpers for one of the Western Conference’s best teams.

Colorado had a glut of left-shot defensemen, so amid a flat salary cap situation across the NHL and just ahead of next week’s Seattle Kraken expansion draft, the team moved Graves for a less expensive player. The Avalanche also recouped a pick after dealing their original second-rounder to the New York Islanders for Devon Toews last October.

Maltsev, a 23-year-old winger, saw 33 games during his rookie season and posted six goals and three assists for New Jersey.

“Ryan brings physicality, size, an ability to defend in tough situations and a fearless compete level that makes him tough to play against,” said New Jersey Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald. “His assertive style of play and ability to play with young defensemen are characteristics that fit into what we are building with our group.”

NHL

–Field Level Media