Plenty of teams in the Eastern Conference are going to be on the lookout. Aside from the established contenders, the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, and New Jersey Devils made improvements to bolster their clubs. While the highlighted additions certainly make the team competitive, a missing piece to the puzzle is at large. Jesper Bratt is headed to arbitration.
A very established piece to the Devils’ core is headed to arbitration. The pending RFA still has yet to sign, and panic may start.
Jesper Bratt and Devils Heading Towards Arbitration
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts podcast says there has been no ground gained on a contract with Jesper Bratt.
Friedman has since reported that the Devils and Bratt have made their salary demands as they head towards the arbitration hearing on August 3rd.
Arbitration filings for Jesper Bratt (NJ): team is $4.15M; player at $6.5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 1, 2022
The New Jersey Devils and forward Jesper Bratt have yet to agree on a contract. No ground has been gained and the tires have gained no traction on the matter. Bratt and the Devils have an arbitration hearing set for August third. While that is right around the corner, hopefully, a deal can get done before then. The Devils currently have $8.7 million left in cap space.
The Devils have built a young core of their own. While success hasn’t been seen yet, the team has a talent-filled core. New Jersey has a 1-2 punch down the middle with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier while boasting a top six that now includes Ondrej Palat, Dawson Mercer, and Yegor Sharangovich. On the back end things are starting to take shape, but as this core is established player that has established himself to be part of it is Jesper Bratt.
Why The Devils Should Avoid Arbitration
Jesper Bratt is headed to arbitration. Unless something drastic happens in the coming days, having that hearing is the likely outcome. While it would be wise to avoid it, the Devils need to get a deal done. After missing out on Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, signing Bratt is an absolute must for the team. After adding Palat, the top six are better with them both than just one of them.
Bratt had a stellar campaign for the Devils. Since breaking into the league in the 2017-18 season, he has consistently put up an average of 30 points per season. This season he had a career year and took off flying. In 76 games, Bratt scored 26 goals, 47 assists, and 73 points which were all career highs. He also led the team in points and was nearly a point per game player.
The best thing is he established chemistry with superstar centre Jack Hughes. Even though Hughes played in fewer games, the duo together put up 129 points. Together on a line they spent 166 minutes together and scored 11 goals. The line averaged 3.96 goals for per 60 minutes. Bratt also shined with Mercer and Andreas Johansson, and that line scored 13 goals and averaged 4.57 goals for per 60 minutes.
The point is, Bratt, impacts whatever line he is on. He bolsters the top six and should be part of the core for years. Losing him would be a mistake and something management would want to avoid.
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