The New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers completed a head-scratching blockbuster trade on Wednesday that caught the NHL world by surprise.
The Oilers sent former No. 1 pick Taylor Hall to the Devils in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson.
The deal is already being considered one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history. While both players fit the needs of their new, respective teams, many feel there is a considerable gap in talent between Hall and Larsson.
Consider that in 2015-16, Hall scored 26 goals with 39 assists to total 56 points. Meanwhile, Larsson, though he has other valuable skills, scored just three goals and 15 assists for 18 points.
Immediately, experts have been reacting to this, but maybe not so favorably:
Did Chiarelli just panic? Hard to believe he just traded Hall for Larsson straight up. Shocker.
— Douglas Gelevan (@DGelevan) June 29, 2016
Were there seriously zero GMs in the entire league who would offer more than Adam Larsson for one of the league’s best wingers?
— Draglikepull (@draglikepull) June 29, 2016
Larsson is a solid RH D, top pair guy, Oilers need that badly. Devils need a scorer. Hall fits perfectly. Straight up. That surprises me.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 29, 2016
Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Direct player swap has people like pic.twitter.com/b3llrwFrqo
— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_FOX) June 29, 2016
Immediate reactions to the trade consider this a huge win for the Devils. While Larsson is a good blueliner, his numbers hardly jump off the page and he recorded only 18 points last year, despite appearing in all 82 games (a career high).
Hall, meanwhile, is a dynamic skater with great goalscoring ability. He recorded 80 points in 75 games three seasons ago, and has broken the 25-goal plateau in three of his last five years in the league.
Sean Gentille of Sporting News called the trade a “large mistake,” writing:
The Oilers started their big roster reset by dumping one of the few best wingers in hockey.
No matter what the Devils would’ve sent back, short of star goalie Cory Schneider, this is going to go down as a gigantic win for GM Ray Shero and an equally large loss for Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli.
At some point, details and reasoning for the trade will come out, but in the meantime, this remains one of the most confusing trades of what is already setting up to be a wild offseason in the NHL.
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