The New Jersey Devils have at least two more moves to make, signing Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson. These are two young talented players who are important building blocks for the future of the Devils.
Josefson is only 22 years of age, but has a lot to prove. The 20th overall draft pick in the 2009 Draft, has only scored six goals and 16 assists in 92 career NHL games. With that said, JJ has not had much time to prove himself, which is why Lou should sign him to a short-term deal.
Henrique is the more important of the two RFA’s. After a sophomore slump season, Henrique has to refine some aspects of his game. He has to become better at winning face offs. The Devils were ranked 24th in face offs this past season with a 48.2 win percentage. Henrique was above the team average by 0.8 percent, but should work hard to get it above 50 percent. Face offs are an often overlooked, but key component of the game.
As for the slump, the biggest concern was the massive slide in assists. Henrique, a former Calder Trophy finalist, had 16 goals and 35 assists in his rookie season, followed by 11 goals and just five assists in 2013.
The biggest question mark here is Josefson, he has not established himself as a player with enough talent to stay in the NHL. On the other hand, Henrique has proved himself as a solid playmaker, forechecker, and hard worker. The scoring will come back in 2013, since he will be surrounded with higher scoring players.
However, after Lou Lamoriello signs these two, will that be all we hear from the Devils this summer? Or should they make another move?
One possibility for the Devils this offseason is trading a veteran defenseman. Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov will be the most likely candidates to be traded. Trading one of these two would clear up cap space to either sign another free agent, or have room to pay what they get in return. Also, the Devils have two solid, NHL ready defensemen in Eric Gelinas and Alexander Urbom playing in Albany. This makes Tallinder and Volchenkov more expendable or the Devils.
Overall, it has been an exciting offseason with a lot to look forward to in the upcoming 2013-14 season, but it is not over yet. The Devils need to sign their two remaining RFA’s as well as possibly trade a defenseman to clear some cap space. Lou has something else up his sleeve this offseason, but only time will tell.