Defenceman Adam Larsson is the only piece heading the other way.
Hall was selected first-overall by the Oilers in the 2010 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old registered 132 goals, 196 assists for 328 points in 381 games. He scored 26 goals and added 39 assists in the first season where he suited up for all 82 games.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has now traded the top two picks from the 2010 draft. When he was the GM of the Boston Bruins, he traded Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 pick, to the Dallas Stars in 2013.
Chiarelli said at a news conference Wednesday the Oilers had spent the last four or five months looking to add a defenceman.
“We’ve pounded the pavement and this is the price you have to pay,” Chiarelli explained. “I spoke with Taylor earlier today and he was very disappointed. [He] felt that he was part of the solution and I didn’t disagree with him. I just said this is a business, you have to make hard decisions.
“My roots aren’t as deep in this organization as Taylor’s, so I respect his emotion. I’ve always respected his play and his competitiveness, and he’ll have a real good career going forward…We tried at varying degrees at the draft to trade for a defenceman.”
This trade means Hall reunites with Devils forward Adam Henrique. The two helped lead the Windsor Spitfires to two Memorial Cup championships in 2009 and 2010. Hall has four years remaining on his current contract with an annual cap hit of $6 million.
Hall said he felt “a little slighted” by the trade.
“I thought I was a good soldier [but I’m] looking forward to going to a team that wants me,” Hall told reporters on a conference call. “It’s pretty hard not to feel slighted or be disappointed, but going to do everything in my power to make New Jersey proud they made this deal. I do take this as an indictment on me as a hockey player. I’m a motivated hockey player right now.”
Larsson, the fourth-overall pick in 2011, is one of the more promising young blueliners in the league. The 23-year-old Skelleftea, Sweden native had three goals, 15 assists, 77 penalty minutes and a plus-15 rating in 82 games last season.
The right-shooting blueliner averaged 22:30 of ice time per game with the Devils last season and should fit in nicely on the Oilers’ top pair. He is locked up until 2021 with a $4,166,666 cap hit.
“I’m pretty shocked right now, but my overall feeling is excited to come to Edmonton,” Larsson told Edmonton’s 630CHED. “They’ve got a lot of good things going and a lot of young, exciting players.”
Larsson added that he knows a couple Swedes on the Oilers. He won a bronze medal at the 2010 world juniors with Anton Lander and also knows Oscar Klefbom.