EDMONTON OILERS left wing Taylor Hall, right, knocks back Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in pursuit of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles. The New Jersey Devils have acquired former No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Adam Larsson.

EDMONTON OILERS left wing Taylor Hall, right, knocks back Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty in pursuit of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles. The New Jersey Devils have acquired former No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Adam Larsson.

NEWARK, N.J.

The Devils finally have a legitimate goal scorer, and this one is coming to New Jersey with a chip on his shoulder after a surprising trade.

The Devils on Wednesday acquired a ‘slighted’ Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers in a straight-up deal for defenseman Adam Larsson.

The surprising move two days before the start of free agency gives the goal-starved Devils an exciting young left wing who was the No. 1 pick overall in 2010, while the Oilers get a solid defenseman who was the No. 4 overall selection in 2011.

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

“It’s tough,” the 24-year-old Hall said on 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.”

What seemed to bother Hall most was that he felt that the trade focused the blame on him for the team’s losing seasons.

Hall said he expressed his disappointment to Oilers general manager Peter 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.”

At a news conference in Edmonton, Chiarelli said the Oilers have been looking for a top-notch defenseman for months and getting the 23- year-old Larsson required paying a price.

“He moves the puck, he defends well, he can log a lot of minutes — he can play 25, 27, 28 minutes,” Chiarelli said. “He can match up against all of the other top forwards, he has more skill to show also.

“It’s unfortunate in these deals, this is what you have to do, but I felt it was a player that I’ve watched very closely this year and I can see his game trending up and it was time to act on it.”


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