Newark, N.J. - Since Ilya Kovalchuk retired from the NHL the New Jersey Devils have been in need to add scoring to their roster, and it may be happening shortly.
Rumors began on Saturday when Tom Gullitti of the well-renowned Fire & Ice blog tweeted:
Devils pursuing Red Wings’ Damien Brunner?: The Devils appear to be closing in on signing unrestricted free ag… http://t.co/AmnwBFRh4s
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) July 13, 2013
Many reports with supposed details on a contract soon followed Sunday, saying Brunner is signing a deal for two-to-three years, worth three million per season.
Pucks & Pitchforks staff writer Jason Young also tweeted:
NJ Devils rumored to have signed Damien Brunner. Contract expected to be two years, $3 million per season. #NJDevils
— Jason Young (@jsy4848) July 15, 2013
The Swiss forward may be new to the NHL, playing in only 44 games with Detroit notching 12 goals and 14 assists, but he was previously extremely successful with Zug in the Swiss-A league. In 201 games with Zug, Brunner totaled 103 goals and 144 assists for 247 points (1.23 points per game), he also boasted a player rating of plus-75.
Brunner also played very well in the playoffs scoring five goals and four assists in 14 games, leading the Red Wings to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Brunner, 27, is a 5-foot-11, 184-pound center with star potential in the NHL. He is known for his gritty-style gameplay as well as his shooting and passing ability.
Playing with the Detroit Red Wings gave the Devils a view of how he would play in their system. Since the Red Wings style of play is very similar to the Devils, Brunner should be successful for the Devils. Also, Brunner played mainly on the third line with the Red Wings, averaging just over 15 minutes per game. If Brunner were to sign with the Devils he would most likely be a top-six forward, playing 18-plus minutes per game.
The Devils are in desperate need for scoring in their 2013-14 campaign. Adding Brunner to the roster will bolster their offensive firepower, as well as stick with the Devils style of play. His time with the Red Wings gave him a taste of the Devils system, but in a lesser role. The Devils are in need of his services and they have more than enough cap space to sign him. Brunner is a perfect fit for the Devils.