Now that the offseason is almost here for the New Jersey Devils, TomFitzgerald must make these three big decisions to make the team better.
The 2021-22 New Jersey Devils season is nearing the end with another lost season. But now it’s time for the Devils to make important decisions and improve during the long offseason. While this road isn’t new for the Devils, this must be the year where they can figure out the right way to get out of their rebuild. There will be a lot of decisions that Tom Fitzgerald will have to make, and these decisions will reflect on the three key issues they had to suffer this season.
Decision #1: Resign Jesper Bratt
It’s obvious right now that the only player mentioned around the league from the Devils is Jack Hughes. However, people usually don’t talk about another elite player that the Devils have. Jesper Bratt has been here for five seasons, starting from the 2017-18 season.
People saw Bratt as an above-average player who usually had a 30-point season during those past seasons. But this year especially was a breakout year for Jesper Bratt. Scoring 25 goals and 45 assists so far, this had been the best season for Bratt. In fact, because of Bratt, the Devils had never seen a season where a player had over 40 assists since Taylor Hall in the 2017-18 season. Whenever he was put on a line, especially with Jack Hughes on his wing, Bratt always played with a ton of energy to make his presence well known.
With Bratt’s final season of an RFA coming to an end, we must wonder if Tom Fitzgerald will try to extend Jesper Bratt. Earlier in the year, we saw that Jack Hughes impressed Fitzgerald so much that he got an eight-year extension with the team.
While Bratt may not be on the same elite level as Hughes, Bratt was still impressive enough that most people want him to stay. Jesper Bratt is such an elite and underrated talent. If Fitzgerald intends to start the offseason right, he will listen to Bratt’s agent to offer whatever contract he can to get Bratt to stay. However, how much money will get offered will be up to Bratt, signing him is one of the biggest decisions that Fitzgerald cannot mess up.