New Jersey Devils: Timo Meier-Jesper Bratt Contract Value Debate

Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)
Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images) /

Timo Meier has proven to be a very effective winger for the New Jersey Devils. Despite not scoring as much as people liked, Meier made a huge impact on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tom Fitzgerald made a big bold statement trade sending multiple pieces to the San Jose Sharks for Meier’s services. Fitzgerald knew what they contracted former Devils forward Claude Lemieux, who is Meier’s agent.

It is a very interesting situation given the fact Timo Meier had 14 points in 21 games since joining the Devils with 9 goals while getting a SiD (42 Hits + 11 Blocked Shots over 21 games played) of 2.52%. The Swiss winger threw his full weight, interrupting opponents’ offensive maneuvers and stopping any easy bounces and open lanes.

As a matter of fact, if you take Meier’s two goals and four points in 11 games with 37 hits and 7 blocked shots in the playoff games Meier’s SiD (Sasquatch Isolated Defense) in the playoffs was 4%. This may seem small but that is a great amount of disruption for a power forward.He was a strong presence against both New York and Carolina.

If you factor in Jesper Bratt’s SiD 1.5% from his 12 hits and six blocks in 12 games, his defensive play wasn’t enough in the playoffs with a lack of shot blocking. Another problem Bratt had was a lower shooting percentage and his mindset of becoming a playoff guy rather than shooting the puck. Meier fared better in the shooting percentage and used his body to be a pest in the playoffs.

Jesper Bratt can’t command more than $8 million after his performance in the playoffs. Timo Meier, however, made a huge effort in a short amount of time. He played in every facet as a forward with five goals at even strength and four power-play goals in 21 games. Bratt does have 24 even-strength goals in 82 games, but his power-play goals of eight are only 9% vs. Timo’s 19%.

Projecting Jesper Bratt & Timo Meier’s Value

For those who are looking for value, Evolving Hockey’s model (subscribers only) values Timo Meier’s Cap Hit of $8.779 million per season over 8 years. To be fair if you take the $10 million qualifying offer and add the EH per season value the average would be around $9.4 million Annual Average which is very fair on both sides.

Bratt has a projected Cap Hit for five more years in New Jersey worth $6.763 million. Same thing with Timo, but the rumor was 8 million for Jesper Bratt as a target value. If Tom Fitzgerald is able to reach around 7.4 million per season, that would be only $14.163 million for both RFAs. The cap space is projected at $34 million, so those projected contracts would leave roughly $20 million left for other moves to be made before the cap gets raised.

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These are the kind of moves that need to be done in time for other core guys to return for another playoff run. With guys like Timo Meier and Jesper Bratt playing two different styles of scoring wingers, both players have to accept that if they want to be part of a very successful franchise, they have to “buy in” to the Tom Fitzgerald model. If one or the other wanted out for some reason, the New Jersey Devils would get a king’s ransom for another star winger. In the end, both guys take a bit less to allow other key players to stick around and maybe bring in an additional move or two to improve the roster for a deeper playoff push.