Palmieri and Zajac excited by Islanders opportunity
Veteran forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac have both been traded to the New York Islanders from the New Jersey Devils and say they are excited about the opportunity to challenge for the Stanley Cup.
For the pair, the Devils received minor league forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst, a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Zajac has been with the Devils for his entire 15 season NHL career and this season surpassed 1,000 games with the organisation. In 1,024 NHL regular season games he scored 550 points (202 goals, 348 assists). This season the 35-year-old has scored 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) in 33 games.
Palmeri joined the Devils in 2015 from the Anaheim Ducks. Over 11 seasons with the two teams, the 30-year-old has 355 points (183 goals, 172 assists) in 595 regular season games. This season, he has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 34 games.
Both Zajac and Palmeri can each become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
With the Devils (13-18-6) seventh in the East Division and 14 points off a playoff position, the pair move to New York seeking a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup in the playoffs.
The Islanders (25-10-4) are second in the same division and a healthy 13 points inside the top-four playoff positions.
Zajac said in a press conference: "At [this] point in my career and where I'm at, I want a chance to win. I just believe this is a team that has all the aspects of a winning hockey team... I think it was just, for me, it was the right time."
Palmeiri commented: "The opportunity to go and be a part of a team that has a chance to do something special is something every player wants. That's all you can ask for."
The Islanders are 16.00 to win the Stanley Cup.
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