The trade market for the Devils has been impacted by the team unwilling to part with some of their many blossoming young players. A day after Tom Fitzgerald said the team was not done in the offseason, the Devils swapped one young defenseman for another. On Saturday, the Devils dealt away Ty Smith, along with a third-round pick in the 2023 draft to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman John Marino.
The addition of Marino satisfies three statements made by Fitzgerald on Friday. The Devils GM stated that the team was not done making moves in the offseason. Fitzgerald also stated that the team might look to add depth in defense. Lastly, Fitzgerald stated the desire for the team to add size on the ice. Marino is 6-foot-1 and would now be the shortest among the six defensemen on the Devils' projected lineup for the upcoming season.
In a statement released by the team, Fitzgerald said, “This is another move focused on improving our club today, while also providing certainty and stability for roster flexibility as we continue to build.”
Offseason not done yetNJ Devils GM says there is more work to do
Marino is a 25-year old defenseman with 10 goals and 54 assists in 189 career games spanning the last three seasons. Now on a team with some offensive-minded defensemen, Marino is less likely to shoot the puck, capable of moving the puck around and staying out of the penalty box. He swaps with Smith, who had seven goals and 36 assists in his first two NHL seasons, including a points streak to the start of his career that entered him into the Calder trophy debate as a rookie in the 2020-21 season.
Marino also has been locked up to a long-term deal he signed when he was in Pittsburgh. Marino becomes the fifth Devils player and the second added this week that will be under contract until at least 2027, joining acquisition Ondrej Palat, fellow defenseman Dougie Hamilton, as well as centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. The team's desire to sign restricted free agent Jesper Bratt to a long-term deal might mean that Bratt will join the group as a core scheduled to stay together for multiple seasons in New Jersey.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NJ Devils trade Ty Smith to Penguins for John Marino