5 possible New Jersey Devils free agent targets that are still available

It was a wild and crazy first day of NHL Free Agency, with more than 130 contracts given out across the league. Despite more than $1 billion spent, there are still multiple free agents the New Jersey Devils could target.
New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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The New Jersey Devils had a successful first day of NHL Free Agency. They signed Brett Pesce to a six-year deal, Brenden Dillon to a three-year deal, and Stefan Noesen to a three-year deal. However, Devils fans are coming out of this with a strange taste in their mouth. They did not get the huge forward targets they thought were in their hands. Both Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Marchessault were reportedly in talks with the Devils, but they decided it would be better to sign with the Nashville Predators.

All day, one top-six possibility after the other signed with new teams. Some were big contracts like Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, and Chandler Stephenson, but there were others that had fans hoping the Devils would match. The two-year, $3 million AAV deal that Adam Henrique signed really hurt, as a reunion with a fan favorite felt very possible.

Now with so many deals signed across the league, the free agent pool is shallow. However, it's not empty. There are still more than 200 players who are looking for new contracts. The Devils still have a few players with upside they can target.

1. Max Pacioretty

We're admittedly on the fence about this one, but it's worth mentioning. Max Pacioretty made his return last season after two torn Achilles tendons. He was thoroughly average. He finished the season with four goals and 19 assists. In no world is that good enough, even when considering he only played 47 games.

For this to work, the Devils would need to do an actual physical with Pacioretty before signing him. He’d have to work out for the team (admittedly not sure if this is allowed) to see if he’s cooked. Honestly, this might make more sense as a professional tryout. Then the Devils could really take a look at him and evaluate what he could be on this team. The Devils need middle-six scoring help. On paper, Pacioretty fits, but he has to be much closer to his old self than he was post injuries.