The Edmonton Oilers traded forward Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday for defenseman Adam Larsson in a one-for-one swap.

Oilers Send Taylor Hall To Devils For Adam Larsson

For about three years now, the Oilers had been rumored to be trading one of their young forwards in order to add some much-needed defense to their roster.

The trade appears unbelievable on the surface because it seems so lopsided in favor of the Devils. In addition, it seems to have become a trend of Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli to trade young, competent forwards who are still in the prime of their careers.

This will surely be a boon for the Devils. Hall, 24, is one of the best left-wingers in the NHL, and will undoubtedly give the team a strong offensive boost after losing Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk a few years ago. Hall is also still under contract for another four years at a very reasonable cap hit of $6 million per year.

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Hall was selected by the Oilers as the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

An emotional Hall admitted the move caught him off guard after dealing with six losing seasons in Edmonton.

“It’s tough,” he said in a conference call. “I have a pretty deep connection to the city of Edmonton. I felt I did everything I could there, so it’s pretty hard not to feel slighted, not to feel a little disappointed with the way everything shook out. That’s hockey.”

Hall added he felt the trade focused the blame on him for the Oilers’ losing season. He also said he expressed his disappointment to Chiarelli after being informed of the trade.

“I don’t want to sound like I am not excited to join New Jersey,” Hall said. “That’s not the case. I’m a proud person, and I take this as an indictment of me as a hockey player. I don’t think there is any other way to treat it. I think it’s safe to say I am a very motivated player right now.”

Larsson, 23, only saves the Oilers $2 million in salary cap space, and he hasn’t accomplished nearly as much as Hall in his professional career thus far. The Swedish defenseman, selected fourth overall by New Jersey in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, had three goals and 15 assists, playing in all 82 games on the Devils’ top defensive pairing. He also had nine goals and 60 assists in 274 games.

Hall, meanwhile, has recorded 132 goals and 196 assists in 381 games during his six years with the Oilers. He has led Edmonton in scoring for three of the past four seasons, and has finished in the top three on the squad in each of his six seasons. This past season, he had 26 goals and 39 assists. The winger also represented the Oilers at the All-Star Game.

“He plays the game fast,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said of Hall. “He adds a lot to our group. He really changes the dynamic of our team and how we are going to play.”

The trade also gives the Oilers salary-cap space to possibly sign free agent Milan Lucic. Hall was making an average of $6 million annually.

Shero expects the Devils to sign defenseman Jon Merrill, as well as forwards Beau Bennett and Devante Smith-Pelley, who did not get qualifying offers earlier this week.

PHOTO: EDMONTON, AB – MARCH 18: Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Vancouver Canucks on March 18, 2016 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

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