Damien Brunner‘s 2013-14 season was the second of his NHL career, and the first full 82-game schedule he has been a part of. Brunner started off on a tear but almost appeared to peak during the season. Can he survive in New Jersey and be extended for 2015-16?
Damien Brunner started off his season with 4 goals and 7 points in October. Remember, that was a month where they won only two games, which were the last two of the month. Brunner had 2 goals against the New York Islanders on October 4th and had a goal and an assist the next game in Edmonton. Things got a little rough the next game in Vancouver as he posted 0 points and a -3 rating. Later on in the month, he had another goal and assist against the Boston Bruins, but still posted a -2 for the game.Even though he had 7 points, he had a -6 plus/minus rating.
In November, Damien Brunner had 1 point the entire month in his 177 minutes of ice time. He seemed to find a rhythm again as he posted 9 points in December and January combined but was still a -2 in the plus/minus department.
Once the calendar turned to March, Brunner was hot again and had 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points. He finished the season with 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 60 games played.
Personally, I think that is enough for Damien Brunner to at least receive another contract, albeit a small one. Damien isn’t “young” at 28 years old but one thing to remember is that he just completed his first full NHL season. Brunner is still growing accustomed to the game in North America after spending his whole life in the Swiss leagues. Brunner played well in the World Championships as well with 3 goals and 3 assists in 7 games.
This upcoming season will be a big test for Damien as he is now in a contract year. He will be an Unrestricted Free Agent next summer and if the Devils do not want him back, he will need to impress other teams as well.
I think Damien will be re-signed if he posts the same numbers but there is always a sense of unpredictability because of the need to move forwards right now. Brunner is making $2.5 million this season and will likely get more in his next contract now that he has a little more experience in the NHL.
Damien Brunner brings speed to the team and has shown plenty of reasons to keep him around past next season. His plus/minus numbers need to improve considering he finished at -11.
Do you think Brunner will survive on the Devils roster? Comment below!
Stats and other information courtesy of ESPN.com and Cap Geek.