Islanders acquire Palmieri, Zajac from Devils for picks, prospects

The New York Islanders have acquired forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a first- and conditional fourth-round pick as well forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst, the team announced Wednesday.

The Devils agreed to retain 50 per cent of both Palmieri and Zajac’s salaries in the deal. Both players are set to become unrestricted free agents in the off-season with Palmieri coming off a five-year, $23.25-million pact and Zajac’s eight-year, $46-million contract expiring.

The Devils received the Islanders’ first-rounder in 2021, while the conditional fourth-rounder is for 2022, it becomes a third-round pick if the Islanders reach the Stanley Cup final, per Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman.

Palmieri was considered one of the top forwards on the market heading into the April 12 NHL trade deadline and had sat out the Devils’ past two games in anticipation of a trade.

The 30-year-old winger is pacing for his worst campaign since 2013-14, his first full season in the NHL, with eight goals and nine assists in 34 games for the lowly Devils, who sit second-last in the East Division with a 13-18-6 record.

Since his 2015 trade from the Anaheim Ducks to New Jersey, the native of Smithtown, N.Y., has put up five straight seasons of at least 20 goals.

Zajac, 35, has spent the entirety of his 15-year career in New Jersey and was the last holdover from the Devils team that made a run to the Cup final in 2011-12.

Selected by the Devils with the 20th pick in the 2004 draft, Zajac has put up 550 points in 1,024 career games, with 18 points in 33 games this season.

Greer, 24, was a second-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche (39th overall) in the 2015 draft and had two points in ten games with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2020-21. Jobst, 27, a Hobey Baker finalist in 2018-19, had two assists in six games with the Sound Tigers this season.

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