New Jersey Devils: Jesper Bratt Extension Better Be On The Horizon

Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils during second period action against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 5, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. (Photo by Leah Hennel/Getty Images)
Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils during second period action against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 5, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. (Photo by Leah Hennel/Getty Images) /
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With the New Jersey Devils showing teams how to best build from the NHL Draft, stockpiling prospects in large quantities that have been hitting. One of these recent draft picks that is proving his worth is Jesper Bratt. Bratt is the kinda player teams want to build a Stanley Cup roster around with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier around them in the near and long term.

Yes, the Devils have guys like Hischier and Hughes making between $7 million and $8 million, plus Dougie Hamilton making $9 million. Those guys’ contracts all set the bar for a young superstar under Devils GM, Tom Fitzgerald who is a native of Billerica, Massachusetts is implementing that Boston Bruins-style team discount variable.

Bratt’s camp could easily say “we want $10 million per year,” but Tom Fitzgerald could end up saying, “look, I’m going to pay Mr. Bratt the money he’s worth now, but I’ll make you an offer of $9 million per year.” The speculation says Bratt is looking for $8.5 to 9.5 million if both sides haggle a deal that is greater than the Kevin Fiala contract but a bit lower than the Dougie Hamilton contract.

As we have seen with the emergences of Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes at the center they’re all worth their contracts now and the value added is expected to rise. In Bratt’s case, the way he scores when he’s at his best is a thing of beauty. We saw a perfect example against Chicago on Tuesday night when his power-play shot was a backbreaker for the Blackhawks.

The Devils would be wise to pay Bratt what it costs to keep him. If that’s $9 million, then show him that’s what he’s worth to this team. This would show how committed Tom Fitzgerald and Martin Brodeur value Bratt as the team’s most productive scoring winger.

Having a guy like Jesper Bratt on the top lines allows guys like Yegor Sharangovich, Alex Holtz, and Dawson Mercer to share the workload from an offensive standpoint. Holtz is beginning to evolve his game to become a more responsible puck carrier and has shown to be an offensive-capable player where there’s a lot of untapped potential.

Jesper Bratt being around other younger wingers will make those guys want to perform their very best on offense. The Devils have an All Star player in the making, and a player that is going to be a key difference maker who is on pace to be a similar type of scoring forward points-wise potentially to Pavel Datsyuk.

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Why Pavel Datsyuk? Silky mitts, very agile throughout the game, ahead of each play, and he makes goaltenders look lost on the breakaways or even on quick snapshots. Winger wise, Bratt’s point pace screams a bit of Patrik Elias.

He has the humility, the swagger, the confidence, and the skill to be a long-term phenom that the Devils are fortunate to have again. If he breaks north of 90 points, he’ll break Elias’ team record that’s been in place for more than 20 years.