After days of anticipation, the New Jersey Devils have dealt Taylor Hall. The 2018 Hart Trophy winner and Blake Speers were sent to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Arizona's first-round pick in 2020, Arizona's third-round selection (conditional) in 2021, as well as prospects Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr.
The first-round pick heading to New Jersey in the trade will be top-three protected. The conditions of the third-round pick are as follows: If the Coyotes win a playoff series or if Hall signs an extension with the club, the pick becomes a second-rounder. If both happen, the pick becomes a first-rounder.
Hall is in the final year of his current deal, which carries a $6 million cap hit, pro-rated at just over $3.5 million. The Devils will retain 50 percent of Hall's salary in the deal.
The trade end days of speculation that Hall's days in New Jersey were numbered. He did not dress for the Devil's last few games, presumably because the team was openly listening to offers.
It's a strong play by the Coyotes, who currently sit atop a relatively weak Pacific division, putting them in a great spot to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Arizona has a strong defensive team aided by fantastic goaltending, but they need some help in the scoring department -- their 2.63 goals per game average ranks them 24th in the NHL. Adding Hall, a premier offensive threat on the wing, should help them in that regard.
Through 30 games with the Devils this year, Hall has six goals and 19 assists.
After arriving in New Jersey in a trade from the Oilers in 2016, Hall spent three full seasons with the Devils, including a 29-goal campaign in 2017-2018 that resulted in him winning league MVP.