New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Losing Waiver Exempt Status

Tyce Thompson #12 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Tyce Thompson #12 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils have an interesting offseason ahead of them. One thing that might force interesting decisions is the waiver status of some prospects.

It’s going to be a wild offseason for the New Jersey Devils. Jesper Bratt and Timo Meier are restricted free agents. Damon Severson, Ryan Graves, and Miles Wood are unrestricted free agents. We’re not sure if Lindy Ruff has an extension in place yet. Andrew Brunette left for the Nashville Predators, so they have to replace him. Right now, only 13 players are under contract. Tom Fitzgerald has to find a way to add 10 more players to this roster before opening night.

Fitzgerald is definitely considering who can replace those leaving in free agency. There are a few players who can make the jump from AHL to NHL next season. Players like Graeme Clarke and Simon Nemec are the most obvious options to take a roster spot next season. However, both are eligible to go back to the Utica Comets if necessary. There are players who are not.

Those options might force Fitzgerald’s hand, at least early in the season. That’s why it is good for the Devils to know who is no longer waiver exempt. The Devils might decide to put these players in the lineup so they don’t risk losing them for nothing.

New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Dawson Mercer

This one obviously has no impact. Mercer is no longer waiver exempt, but he’s a lock on the Devils roster. There is no decision to make because Mercer proved himself on the NHL roster. There is literally nothing that could happen that would cause Mercer to end up in the AHL.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Mercer. He jumped right into the NHL after a COVID-shortened season in the QMJHL. He was quite good, scoring 42 points in 82 games. This season, he was even better, putting up 56 points in 82 games. Not only is Mercer getting better as a player, but he hasn’t missed a game as an NHL player. What a find by Tom Fitzgerald.