5 New Jersey Devils Playing For New Contracts This Season

New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91): Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91): Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils are looking at a very exciting season starting on Thursday. Despite spending a ton of money this offseason to retain talent, Tom Fitzgerald still has quite a few negotiations coming his way in 2024. 

Last offseason, Tom Fitzgerald was staring at two incredibly tough negotiations. Timo Meier and Jesper Bratt both needed new deals, and the New Jersey Devils were pretty adamant they wanted to get max-term deals with both. They did exactly that.

This offseason will be nothing like last offseason. There isn’t the laundry list of unrestricted free agents looking for new deals (they let almost every single one of them go outside of Erik Haula). The stars are all locked up for a long time. However, there are some interesting negotiations the Devils will deal with at the end of the season.

Some of these players can earn lucrative deals if they have a big season. Maybe nobody is getting the deal that Bratt or Meier signed, but they can get some nice money. There are some restricted free agents and some unrestricted free agents looking to play up to their worth.

New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils forward Dawson Mercer (91): Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Dawson Mercer

Dawson Mercer is the most important cog (well, right now) that is looking for a new contract in 2024. He was just escalated into the Devils’ top six, expected to play next to Nico Hischier and Timo Meier to start the season. The former 18th overall NHL Draft pick has played way above his expectations. Based on Hockey Reference’s Point Shares, only Tim Stutzle has been better in that draft.

So, what does a contract look like for Mercer? That’s hard to tell. Would anyone be floored if he signed for $6+ million per season? Would anyone be upset? That’s a lot of cash for a player who has yet to hit 60 points in a season.

Mercer is streaky, but when he gets hot, he looks as good as any player on the ice. He had a stretch last season where he carried the team. He had some very good games in the playoffs, too. Mercer’s contract might not actually be as high as he deserves. The Devils will take whatever discount they can get, and Mercer seems like the type of player to offer them one. We expect this deal to get done in the middle of the season.