This is the “swing for the fences” pick. Brady Tkachuk is Tom Fitzgerald’s family member, so that is something to consider when talking about Brady Tkachuk. The Ottawa Senators would hold this entire process hostage, and the Devils have a habit of underpaying restricted free agents on their own team. Making another team upset would open them up for retaliation.
However, Brady Tkachuk is an amazing player who has a decade of prime ahead of him. He has three years of playing well in the NHL, and he’s only 21 years old. He’s a feisty player who ends up in the penalty box a lot, but under the Lindy Ruff system, he might find himself spending more time on the rush which will help him avoid penalties.
Tkachuk’s contract will be difficult, but it’s something the Devils have the space to make work. If they were willing to take $7.5 million on Vladimir Tarasenko, they will be willing to do something more with Tkachuk. Reports from the Ottawa Sun this past week said he’s looking for a contract similar to Andrei Svechnikov. Obviously, the Devils can’t give Tkachuk an eight-year deal, but they could afford to give him a $7.75 million average annual value.
If the Devils got Tkachuk to agree to a five-year deal worth a total of $38.75 million, it would cost them a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. That would really hurt, but it would be a one-year pain. They could actually bring the contract all the way to $8.2 million and pay the same price. Again, this is pricey, but it’s not the four 1st-round picks that the biggest players are demanding. This is a workable move the Devils should really consider. Do the Senators match? Probably, but with that franchise, anything is possible.