The New Jersey Devils did something that you don’t see very often in the NHL.A sign and trade happened between them and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Damon Severson is headed to Ohio and will get an eight-year deal worth 6.25 million.
In return, New Jersey is getting a third-round pick back. That is coming for a player that was a free agent so it is just good asset management by Tom Fitzgerald. It is obviously a good deal for both teams and the player.
This trade has huge implications for both teams, obviously. Severson is a great offensive defenseman. The now formerly longest-tenured Devil had 58 goals and 205 assists for 263 points in 647 games played. Columbus is going to be much improved and Severson will be a big part of it.
As for New Jersey, this paves the way for the kids. We already saw the impact that Luke Hughes had on them at the end of the year. He played the final two regular season games with them and was outstanding. He even scored an overtime game-winning goal.
It took them a while to insert him into the playoffs but he was great when they did. In the game where New Jersey was eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime, Hughes was amongst the team leaders in ice time. They clearly like what they have in him.
The New Jersey Devils are loaded with some good young defensemen.
New Jersey is also excited about what they saw from Kevin Bahl this season. He didn’t play in every game but he improved as the year went along. You don’t rely on him for offense but he is a big body that is really starting to always be in the right position.
Simon Nemec could end up being the best of them all. We haven’t seen him in the NHL this season but he played with the Utica Comets of the AHL all year and was great.
New Jersey selected him number two overall in the 2022 NHL Draft and you can believe that he will be on the team next year. He brings a two-way style of defense that the team so desperately needs.
All of these kids will be getting ice time next season and the departure of Damon Severson means that there is more to go around.
We know that Luke Hughes will play and it is likely that both Simon Nemec and Kevin Bahl do as well. We’ll see how they work with guys like Dougie Hamilton, Jonas Siegenthaler, and John Marino as they develop into full-time NHL defensemen.
Ryan Graves is still out there as well. He is a free agent just like Severson but you can’t help but wonder if he will stay or go. This decision will impact the younger guys just as much so we will see.