Just two days after trading defenseman Nikita Zadorov, the Avalanche on Monday acquired defenseman Devon Toews from the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2021 and 2022 second-round draft pick.
Toews, 26, is a restricted free agent coming off a two-year deal with the Islanders which paid him league-minimum salary ($700,000 AAV).
The 6-foot-1 defenseman dressed in all 22 playoff games for New York, scoring two goals and recording 10 points. Since making his debut as a 24-year-old, Toews has dressed in 116 regular-season games and has scored 11 goals and 46 points.
“Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who plays 20-plus minutes a night,” Avs general manager Joe Sakic said. “He is a durable defender who is excellent in transition and we are excited to add him to our blueline.”
Three hours before the trade was announced, Sakic said the Avalanche were still looking at different options to fill Zadorov’s spot on the blueline. He said Colorado was content with giving young defensemen Connor Timmins and Bowen Byram an opportunity but, “we want them to come in slowly and at their own pace.”
The addition of Toews, a lefty, gives the Avalanche a top-six that includes right-handed defensemen Cale Makar, Erik Johnson and Ian Cole and lefties Ryan Graves, Sam Girard and Toews.
The Avalanche also announced Monday that Graves, who had filed for arbitration, re-signed for three years. According to Cap Friendly, the deal is worth $9.5 million (3.167 AAV).
After the acquisition of forward Brandon Saad and the new deal for Graves, the Avs have $6.798 million remaining in cap space with Tyson Jost — who has been subject to trade rumors — the lone remaining restricted free agent.
From Colorado Avalanche Communications
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Devon Toews from the New York Islanders in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Toews, 26, appeared in all 68 games for the Islanders during his first full NHL season in 2019-20, tallying 28 points (6g/22a). His six goals and 28 points finished second among New York defenders. The Abbotsford, British Columbia, native went on to skate in all 22 playoff games for the Islanders, where he tied for first among team defensemen with 10 points (2g/8a).
“Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who plays 20-plus minutes a night,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. “He is a durable defender who is excellent in transition and we are excited to add him to our blueline.”
Selected by the Islanders in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Toews has recorded 46 points (11g/35a) in 116 career NHL regular season contests and added 15 points (3g/12a) in 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Toews (pronounced: deh-VAHN TAYVS) made his NHL debut on Dec. 23, 2018 at Dallas and spent the rest of the 2018-19 campaign with the Islanders, recording 18 points (5g/13a) in 48 games. He also dressed in eight playoff contests during the 2019 postseason and led all team defensemen with five points (1g/4a).
Toews began his professional career with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2016-17, collecting 45 points (5g/40a) in 76 games en route to being named to the AHL All-Rookie Team. Toews, who played in the 2016-17 AHL All-Star Game, led all rookies in assists that year while his 45 points tied for first among rookie defensemen. He registered 86 total points (18g/68a) in 130 AHL games with Bridgeport.
The 6-foot-1, 196-pound rearguard played three seasons at Quinnipiac University (ECAC) from 2013-16, where he totaled 67 points (12g/55a) in 108 collegiate games. He was named to the ECAC Second All-Star Team following his third and final season of 2015-16. Prior to enrolling at Quinnipiac, Toews played two years with the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League. He was selected to the BCHL All-Rookie Team in 2011-12 and followed that up by being named to the BCHL (Coastal) First All-Star Team and garnering BCHL (Coastal) Best Defenseman honors in 2012-13.