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Avalanche ship D Ryan Graves to Devils with eye on enlargement draft

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche despatched veteran defenseman Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday evening in a transfer made with an eye fixed on the upcoming enlargement draft of the Seattle Kraken.

In change, the Avalanche acquired ahead Mikhail Maltsev and a second-round choice this 12 months from New Jersey.

By buying and selling Graves, together with Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson agreeing to waive his no-movement clause, the workforce can shield defensemen Devon Toews, Cale Makar and Samuel Girard. The Devils have loads of room to guard Graves.

Protected lists are due Saturday, and the enlargement draft is Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Graves had two objectives and 13 assists over 54 video games with the Avalanche final season. He led the workforce in blocked photographs with 91 and was second in hits with 77.

He was reliable on the blue line for Colorado since he was acquired Feb. 26, 2018, from the New York Rangers. His plus-40 ranking in 2019-20 led the league, the primary time an Avalanche participant achieved the feat since Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg (plus-52) in 2002-03.

Graves will bolster a Devils protection that was so-so final season. The principle cogs are Ty Smith, Damon Severson and P.K. Subban. Will Butcher spent a lot of the 12 months within the doghouse.

“Ryan brings physicality, measurement, a capability to defend in robust conditions and a fearless compete stage that makes him robust to play towards,” Devils basic supervisor Tom Fitzgerald stated in a press release. “His assertive fashion of play and talent to play with younger defensemen are traits that match into what we’re constructing with our group.”

Colorado picks up one other scoring risk to affix the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The 23-year-old Maltsev had 9 factors and three assists in 33 contests throughout his rookie season. He appeared in his first NHL sport on Jan. 31, 2021, at Buffalo.

The 6-foot-3, 198-pound Maltsev was a fourth-round decide of the Devils in 2016. He additionally performed in Russia, the place he had a purpose and 7 assists in 35 profession Kontinental Hockey League video games with SKA St. Petersburg.

Colorado has fairly just a few large gamers who’re free brokers, together with captain Gabriel Landeskog and goaltender Philipp Grubauer. There’s additionally forwards Brandon Saad, Matt Calvert, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Carl Soderberg, goaltender Devan Dubnyk and defenseman Patrik Nemeth.

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