As 2024 begins and the NHL season reaches the halfway point, trade rumors are beginning to swirl. There are exactly nine weeks until the NHL trade deadline and most contenders, including the New Jersey Devils, will be on the prowl for roster improvements for the stretch run.

One name that's expected to be moved is Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin and the Devils are reportedly one of several teams interested, per David Pagnotta.

“As we’ve reported this week, the Calgary Flames have been engaged in trade talks involving some of their players, including – and more specifically – their defencemen,” Pagnotta said. “Noah Hanifin has been on a few teams’ radars, including the New Jersey Devils. Trade talks seem to be ongoing, and this could be something that materializes leading up to the deadline, if not much sooner.”

Hanifin is in the final year of his contract and although the Flames engaged in extension talks with him earlier this season, it's unlikely he will sign given the current state of the franchise. Calgary is in the mix for the Western Conference playoffs and has played well as of late, but it's anticipated that the Flames will be sellers rather than buyers at the deadline.

Hanifin turns 27 this month and has 18 points in 38 games. He played in all but two games over the previous two seasons, totaling 86 points on 17 goals and 69 assists.

Why the Devils make sense

New Jersey Devils trade pickup Tyler Toffoli with teammates Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton in New Jersey

The Devils entered the season as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders but currently find themselves outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A lot of that has to do with their defense, hence why they are interested in not only bolstering the roster but doing it on the back end as well.

Only seven NHL teams allowed more goals than the Devils so far this season. That number drops down to four if you consider goals allowed per game.

Although they've won four of their last six, the Devils allowed 21 goals in that span. They are one of five teams yet to have a shutout this season. The other four teams all have losing records right now and finished in the bottom five in the league standings last season.

The Devils desperately need to find some improvements along the blue line and Noah Hanifin is among the best available defensemen on the trade market. He is likely to be moved sooner rather than later and could find a new home in New Jersey for the remainder of the season.