John Marino was traded to the New Jersey Devils by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for Ty Smith and a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The 25-year-old defenseman had 25 points (one goal, 24 assists) in 81 regular-season games for the Penguins last season and one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has five seasons remaining on a six-year, $26.4 million contract ($4.4 million average annual value) he signed with Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 2021.
“John is a competitive, highly mobile defenseman who strengthens our back end,” Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. “He takes pride in his game away from the Puck and his Puck management and ability to transition play will fit in nicely with our style and the strengths of our forward group. This is another move focused on improving our club today, while also providing certainty and stability for roster flexibility as we continue to build.”
Marino is the latest in a flurry of offseason moves by the Devils, who were 27-46-9 and have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once (2018) since 2012. It began with acquiring goalie Vitek Vanecek in a trade of Picks in the 2022 NHL Draft with the Washington Capitals on July 8 followed by forwards Erik Haula in a trade with the Boston Bruins for Pavel Zacha on July 13.
[RELATED: 2022-23 NHL Trade Tracker]
New Jersey then signed an unrestricted free agent defenseman Brendan Smith to a two-year, $2.2 million contract ($1.1 million annual average value) and forward Ondrej Palata two-time Stanley Cup Winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning, to a five-year, $30 million contract ($6 million AAV) Thursday.
Marino joins a young Devils core featuring forwards Jack Hughes21; Nico Hischier23; Jesper Bratt, 23; and Dawson Mercer 20. The sixth-round pick (No. 154) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft has 64 points (10 goals, 54 assists) in 189 regular-season games and two assists in 17 postseason games.
Smith, a 22-year-old defenseman, can be a restricted free agent next season. The No. 17 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft has 43 points (seven goals, 36 assists) in 114 games.
The Penguins signed defenseman Jan Rutta to a three-year, $8.25 million contract ($2.75 million AAV) on July 13.