The New Jersey Devils added some needed goalie depth on Monday, acquiring Andrew Hammond from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for center Nate Schnarr.
Hammond became one of the more heartwarming stories of the 2021-22 season, finally returning to the NHL with the Canadiens after four seasons in the American League and performing quite well in his limited showing, leaving Montreal with a .920 save percentage in four games.
The Devils, on the other hand, have seen their goaltending depth chart become decimated by injuries this season after MacKenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier both landed on injured reserve, and clearly needed another body to help ease the load on Nico Dawes and Jon Gilles' shoulders.
Going the other way is an intriguing young prospect in Schnarr, a 23-year-old center who was selected in the third round back in 2017 by the Devils and is currently producing quite well at the AHL level. In 43 games with the Utica Comets thus far this season, Schnarr has racked up 13 goals and 26 points, showing flashes of potential as a young player on the precipice of an NHL call-up.
While the Devils assuredly need goaltending help, dealing a prospect like Schnarr for a career minor-leaguer on an expiring contract while the team is miles away from the postseason is somewhat of a puzzling move. Schnarr gives the Canadiens yet another young forward to possibly help their rebuild, while Hammond may not play as many games for the Devils as he did in Montreal.
Stay tuned as the trades continue to roll in.