5 last-minute things to know as New Jersey Devils begin free agency frenzy

The New Jersey Devils made moves during the NHL Draft to free up some cap space, and now they can shop during NHL Free Agency. As we hit July 1, here is what you need to know before the frenzy begins.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New Jersey Devils were not quiet during the NHL Draft. While they made their picks, including taking behemoth defenseman Anton Silayev with the 10th-overall pick, they also made a few trades that directly impact the NHL roster. The first trade was sending right-handed defenseman John Marino to the Utah Hockey Club for a pair of second-round picks. It's honestly not a terrible trade,

Then, the Devils shocked everyone when they sent Akira Schmid and Alexander Holtz to the Vegas Golden Knights for Paul Cotter and a 2025 third-round pick. That trade was not well received. What di do was remove a headache and open up roster spots. Holtz himself wasn't a headache and seemed like a very good teammate despite the inconsistent play, but the fanbase reaction and reporter questions must have weighed on the process.

Now, as we arrive to free agency with around $19 million in cap space, the Devils are looking to make moves. Let's take a look at the prevalent rumors ahead of free agency. It all starts with something that has been obvious for a week.

Brett Pesce

This feels all but done. Even with the Devils trading for another right-handed defenseman in Johnathan Kovacevic, this shouldn’t impact the Devils pursuit of Brett Pesce. Word on the street is that the deal is going to look like six years and $6 million per season. When the price of the contract is that prevalent, in the past it’s come out as a little more than that. Think about $6.25 million or maybe slightly more on the deal.

Yes, this is slightly too much and two years too long, but the Devils are looking to lock down the right side for a long time. The salary cap will hopefully keep going up, making the percentage of cap space this impacts fall lower and lower each year. We expect this to get announced at roughly 12:01 pm on Monday.