The New Jersey Devils could shoot for the stars on someone like Elias Pettersson, but that is likely going to cost between two and four 1st-round picks. However, if they go for straight upside, there are some interesting moves they can make. Kailer Yamamoto is the most interesting restricted free agent to the Devils right now. He showed he can excel at the NHL level in the right situation, but he is coming off a down year that might have the Edmonton Oilers worried.
The Devils could swoop in and fix this problem for them. Obviously, they won’t be happy with a team coming in and giving their guy a contract, but they will get some compensation.
How far should the Devils go with a contract for Yamamoto? They could do something like four years at $4 million per year. That would cost the Devils a 2nd-round pick. That’s it.
Edmonton would have to decide whether this would be worth it in the contract only. The 2nd-round pick doesn’t mean too much in this transaction. The Oilers have to decide whether the risk on Yamamoto is worth it. The Oilers currently have $0 in cap space. They are actually over by $3 million. If it’s another flat cap next season, they will only have $6 million in space before the Yamamoto extension. The Devils could take advantage of it and spend very little in compensation to do it.