Today the Devils were able to re-sign young gun Travis Zajac to a four year deal before the Friday deadline, which would have sent the formerly restricted free agent, to an arbitration hearing in Toronto. Can you hear all of the collective sighs of relief being let out right now? Arbitration hearings are much worse than they seem and it usually ends with the said player remaining on the said team, unless the said team has no desire to keep him. However, making sure nothing got out of hand before the hearing took place is just what I think the Devils needed to do, in order to ensure that Zajac knows that they believe in him.
Devils architect Lou Lamoriello went on to say that “During his previous three seasons in the National Hockey League, Travis Zajac has proven to be among the top young players in the game, and has developed into one of the core players on our team,” said Lamoriello. “We are pleased that we were able to work out a long-term agreement.” (from devils.nhl.com). Travis will be heading into his fourth season in the NHL and is truly on the rise as one of the better young guys in this league right now. His path so far has resembled that of superstar Zach Parise’s as he makes his bid to be one of the top players in this game. Travis being a college player taken in the Entry Draft much like Zach was, only shows the confidence in which Lamoriello has in certain players when committing to them.
Zajac tallied career high numbers last year with 20 G, 42 A and 62 points in every NJ game. Through his previous three NHL seasons, Travis has thoroughly improved each year into the next and that is reason enough the Devils have decided to continue their investment in the young 24 year old, out of Winnipeg. Look for TZ19 to continue rising to another echelon in the upcoming year, alongside Zach Parise, as the two grow into being one of the best 1-2 combinations in the league.