Jesper Boqvist – Restricted Free Agent
The Devils have been waiting for Jesper Boqvist to find a role on the NHL roster for three seasons. After an impressive run as a youngster in Sweden, he came to North America and never really hit the expectations the Devils front office had for him. After two straight years where he only scored four goals despite getting offensive opportunities, Boqvist is finally finding a role that might fit his skill set.
Boqvist has taken over the third-line center role after Dawson Mercer was moved to winger in the top six. Lindy Ruff tried to find the right fits for everyone, and it seems to be working. Boqvist has been better offensively than we’ve ever seen him. He’s been with the Devils basically since the middle of December.
He had a rough March, but outside of that (only two points in March compared to four points halfway through April) he’s been consistently fine on both signs of the ice. The Devils are dealing with his contract this offseason now that his entry-level deal is done.
The big question here is how much Boqvist is worth. Will the Devils just go ahead and give him a similar salary range, or did Boqvist earn himself a raise this season? It feels like Boqvist can argue he deserves at least as much as Michael McLeod makes, which is just under $1 million for two years. It’s only a $50,000 raise from what he’s making this season, but it would be surprising to hear he makes much more than that.