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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Other Top-Six Forwards

Kevin Weekes and Emily Kaplan of ESPN both said something to the effect of the Devils doing more than we expect, with Weekes mentioning a top-six forward as a target in free agency. We just mentioned Stamkos, who would definitely fit the bill, but that still seems like a long shot. However, the Devils won't stop if Stamkos looks elsewhere.

We talked about a few free agents who can come to New Jersey if the price is right. Elias Lindholm is a dream player, but his price might go higher than the Devils are willing to go. Still, he would be a premium asset next to Hughes. He can take faceoffs and still excel playing on the wing after that. He can let Hughes drive play and play very good defensively, letting Hughes focus on what he does well.

Other names that have been floated include Jonathan Marchessault (there's a reason he's first), Sam Reinhart (but he legitimately might make more than $8 million per season), Chandler Stephenson, Adam Henrique, and Viktor Arvidsson. Every single name on that list comes down to price and value, and yes they are different. The Devils have different valuations on these players, but they cannot go over what it is or they will be in cap hell forever. 

Then, there’s Tyler Bertuzzi. Tom Fitzgerald seems to be on a war path to add size, grit, and toughness to the lineup. Reports say that the Leafs and Bertuzzi cannot come to a contract agreement, and he’s looking for something north of $5 million AAV. We could see the Devils going there after Bertuzzi played well with Auston Matthews last season. 

There is one player that Tom Fitzgerald has already said he wants to pursue again. Tyler Toffoli likely won’t be back with the Winnipeg Jets. He’s had little hype around him since his trade from New Jersey, so maybe the Devils can come to an agreement on term that they couldn’t during the season.