Devils acquire Kurtis MacDermid from Avalanche: What he adds, and what the Avs got in return

The New Jersey Devils acquired forward Kurtis MacDermid from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round draft pick and Zakhar Bardakov, New Jersey’s seventh-round pick in 2021.

The 29-year-old MacDermid broke into the NHL as a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings, and he played both defense and forward after joining Colorado ahead of the 2021-22 season. He switched to forward full time ahead of this season.

At 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, MacDermid will be the heaviest player on the Devils’ roster. He’s one of the league’s tougher fighters and is more than willing to throw hits during games. The Devils front office believed that element of physicality and toughness was missing in the team’s lineup. In an ideal world for New Jersey, MacDermid’s on-ice presence will help young players skate with more confidence. His teammates gave him credit for that during his time with the Avalanche.

“Dermy, he’s awesome,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said during the 2021-22 season, which ended with Colorado hoisting the Stanley Cup. “Obviously, he’s one of the toughest guys in the league. A lot of times he can’t find anybody to dance with because he’s just that tough.”

MacDermid had five goals and 13 points in 131 games with the Avalanche and six goals and 17 points in 118 games with the Kings. He didn’t appear in any playoff games for Colorado but got his name engraved on the Stanley Cup after playing a career-high 58 regular season games in 2021-22.

MacDermid’s underlying numbers have never been spectacular. He appeared in 29 games for the Avalanche this season, and the team had 41.78 percent of the expected goal share with him on the ice. That’s the worst mark of anyone on the team who appeared in more than 10 games.

From Colorado’s perspective, the move clears MacDermid’s $987,500 cap hit off the books. That gives the Avalanche around $2.22 million of deadline cap space, per CapFriendly. General manager Chris MacFarland is expected to be active at the trade deadline, and moving MacDermid adds to his flexibility.

MacFarland also complimented Bardakov’s speed and flexibility in an Avalanche press release. The center has 12 points in 51 KHL games this season.

The MacDermid acquisition is Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald’s second move of deadline season. He used New Jersey’s cap flexibility to help facilitate Dallas’ Chris Tanev acquisition from Calgary. New Jersey picked up a 2026 fourth-round pick in that deal. — Peter Baugh, New York NHL writer

What kind of prospect is Bardakov?

Bardakov is a good-sized forward who can play wing or the middle. He is quite physical and has a high compete level. He doesn’t provide a ton of offensive creativity but has some skill. His foot speed is just OK, as well. He has a decent chance to be a bottom-six forward and is not too dissimilar from the player he was traded for. — Corey Pronman, senior prospects writer

Required Reading

(Photo of Kurtis MacDermid: Michael Martin / NHLI via Getty Images)

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