The place Do New Jersey Devils Go From Right here With Sami Vatanen?

After the New Jersey Devils traded for Sami Vatanen in November 2017, the staff could have a giant resolution to make earlier than his contract expires.

On the morning of November 30th, 2017, New Jersey Devils followers noticed one among their most proficient and well-loved facilities, Adam Henrique, get traded to the Anaheim Geese together with Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 Third-round choose. The return was a Third-round choose conditional upon Henrique receiving an extension from Anaheim and right-handed defenseman Sami Vatanen.

In Sami Vatanen’s first two seasons with New Jersey, he has performed 107 video games and recorded 45 factors. He’s at the moment getting into a contract 12 months, ending after the 2019-2020 season, and can doubtless be searching for a increase from his present $4.875M AAV.

The problems at the moment surrounding Sami Vatanen and his contract standing start with dealing with their lack of additional cap space after subsequent season. The Devils could have Wayne Simmonds, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, Andy Greene, Taylor Hall, Mackenzie Blackwood, and together with Vatanen due for brand spanking new contracts in 2020.

Following the acquisition of P.K. Subban, plainly Sami Vatanen might not have a spot come subsequent season. There are solely two conditions that appear believable. The Devils pursuing a potential a commerce, whether or not it being in the midst of the season or on the deadline, or re-signing the defenseman. Shero just isn’t the form of basic supervisor to let gamers stroll for no return. That is vital to stop the Devils from dropping Henrique for nothing.

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The commerce marketplace for a defenseman who’s in his late 20’s ought to be pretty lively, wanting on the buzz surrounding defenseman Jake Gardiner when it got here to free company and the return the Avalanche received after sending Tyson Barrie to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The market could also be determined for defensemen proper now, which could be seen following the Vancouver Canucks paying 29-year-old Tyler Myers $6M AAV for the following 5 years.

The Devils have additionally misplaced loads of beneficial future picks this offseason in strikes to accumulate extra expertise to maintain Taylor Corridor round, buying and selling their 2nd and Third-round picks for this season in addition to their 2nd-round choose subsequent season within the trades for Subban and Nikita Gusev.

Ought to Shero discover a suitor for Sami Vatanen earlier than the beginning of the season it’s going to present the Devils with probably the most return, doubtless a higher-round choose and a roster participant/defensive prospect. If he’s unable to discover a staff searching for added defensive depth, he might flip his gaze to the commerce deadline as groups are often extra relaxed with their picks at that time within the season.

The Devils might obtain a 1st-round choose for the defenseman if he’s wholesome and taking part in nicely. Groups pay so much for defensive depth down the stretch. If he’s not taking part in that nicely, I count on the Devils to obtain a 2nd and Third-round choose, recovering the picks misplaced within the Gusev commerce.

Re-signing Sami Vatanen shouldn’t be rather more costly than his present contract. Following two partial seasons as a result of accidents and his lackluster efficiency on the ice, sitting at -18 plus/minus by his time in New Jersey. Nevertheless as with all gamers getting into their 30’s, their major precedence shifts in the direction of time period, discovering job safety after they cross their prime.

If Sami Vatanen had been to obtain an extension it might be within the ballpark of $5.5 million for 3 years, paying slightly greater than he’s value so as to shorten the time period. The time period is one thing that may grow to be a problem for the Devils particularly with proficient defensive prospects Reilly Walsh and Ty Smith. Smith is predicted to be on the third pairing of the opening night time roster and Walsh is getting into his third 12 months at Harvard. Harvard misplaced two of their high right-handed defensemen this offseason, with each Adam Fox and John Marino receiving entry-level contracts, leaving Walsh as the highest choice on the proper facet.

With these two rising defensemen within the Devils system signing Sami Vatanen to any contract over $5M AAV may grow to be a pricey mistake. On high of Smith and Walsh, Jake Gardiner has but to be signed in free company. Gardiner offers a serious improve on the left facet and would successfully require Vatanen to be moved earlier than the Devils may tackle his asking value. This being mentioned I discover it extremely unlikely the Devils signal any extra free brokers this summer time, the one manner they’d discover somebody to exchange Vatanen this season will likely be from inside or by way of commerce.

Next: Early Look At 2021 Expansion Draft

Don’t count on to see Sami Vatanen within the pink and black in the beginning of the 2020-21 season. The Devils defensive corps has acquired a serious improve with P.Ok. Subban and can little question profit from having Sami Vatanen on the left facet this season, however along with his contract looming overhead it could be extra life like to maneuver him to a staff looking for extra defensive depth.

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This may replenish the picks the Devils traded earlier this offseason and doubtlessly add one other depth defensive piece. With Ray Shero’s wizardry this offseason there isn’t any doubt he’ll discover a approach to keep away from dropping Vatanen for nothing. Together with his masterful buying and selling and a scorching defensive market, as soon as Jake Gardiner finds his staff for subsequent season search for Sami Vatanen to maneuver shortly after.