Avalanche send Graves to Devils with eye on expansion draft

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Colorado Avalanche's Ryan Graves handles the puck during the first period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Sunday, May 23, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Colorado Avalanche’s Ryan Graves handles the puck during the first period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Sunday, May 23, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche sent veteran defenseman Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils in a move made with an eye on the upcoming expansion draft of the Seattle Kraken.

In exchange, the Avalanche acquired forward Mikhail Maltsev and a second-round selection in the 2021 draft from New Jersey.

By trading Graves — along with Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson agreeing to waive his no-movement clause — the team can protect defensemen Devon Toews, Cale Makar and Samuel Girard.

The Devils have plenty of room to protect Graves.

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