Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY Sports

Trade Analysis: The New Jersey Devils Acquire Ryan Graves from the Colorado Avalanche

The expansion draft is almost upon us, and a number of key deadlines related to it are forcing teams to make some tough decisions ahead of the big day. For those facing a roster crunch when it comes to protection slots, the clock is ticking right now. 

The draft itself isn't until next Wednesday, but a lot of the good stuff will happen well before then, with the trade freeze kicking in and expansion lists being filed early Saturday.

That timeline has resulted in a number of moves being expedited. We've already seen the Predators move Viktor Arvidsson to the Kings for a surprisingly low price, while the Wild shocked the hockey world by buying out two highly expensive players. The latest team to try and get ahead of things so that they don't hand Seattle a valued player for nothing is the Colorado Avalanche, who traded Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday evening. 

It's hardly a blockbuster trade for either side on the surface, but it is a notable one because of the trickledown effect it'll have on both teams. That's what makes it such an interesting transaction, and it's why we're going to take some time to unpack the thought process for both sides here.

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This article is about:
NHL Colorado Avalanche New Jersey Devils NHL Ryan Graves Mikhail Maltsev Tom Fitzgerald Joe Sakic
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