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New Jersey Devils Have Signed Defenceman Sami Vatanen

accob Slavin #74, Sami Vatanen #45 and Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes

The New Jersey Devils and Sami Vatanen have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, worth $2 million.

Sami Vatanen Signs with the Devils

Vatanen has played for three teams in his career. Drafted in the fourth round by the Anaheim Ducks in 2009, Vatanen has developed into a solid top-four defender. He spent six seasons with the team. He was eventually involved in a trade that sent him to the east coast, playing for the New Jersey Devils. After spending two and a half years with the team, Anaheim hit the rebuild button and shipped Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade deadline move. While Vatanen never played a regular-season game as a Cane, he did play an integral role during postseason play in the bubble.

Sami Vatanen has always been a contributor in the offensive zone as well as defence. While he has only had a positive relative Corsi for rating twice in his career, he has usually hovered around the zero mark. While that is not ideal, it is rather impressive. Vatanen has played on some bad teams in his career. The fact he can stay near neutral on defence while still putting up points in the offensive zone is remarkable. While he probably isn’t a top-pairing defenceman, he can easily slot in on the second unit.

Future Impact

Once the playoffs begin, Vatanen steps up his game. Over the course of his eight-year career, he has played in 434 games. In that time frame, he has 194 points. Overall that averages out to 0.44 points per game. While he doesn’t have the largest sample size, his points per game shot up tremendously in the playoffs. In 51 games, he has 26 points for a 0.51 point per game average. If the Devils can make their way into the playoffs, they have a very special defenceman ready to contribute.

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