Five Most Intriguing UFAs That Have Played Under Assistant Coach Jeremy Colliton

With the hire of former Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton, a connection has been built between current free agents who played under Colliton and the New Jersey Devils.
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The New Jersey Devils have recently announced the hiring of Jeremy Colliton as their new assistant coach to be second in command under Sheldon Keefe. According to team reporter Amanda Stein, he will be overseeing the very exciting forward group and power play. In a somewhat contentious move, however, all other members of the coaching staff will be returning for the 2024-2025 season. With Colliton now behind the bench, let’s take a look at some current UFAs with a connection to the newest face in Newark. 

1. Erik Gustafsson, Defenseman

Gustafsson's offensive upside would be a decent addition to the New Jersey Devils defense. He has high end skating ability, is talented with the puck on his stick and has a plethora of experience playing under coach Colliton as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization. During the 2017-2018 regular season, Gustafsson split time between the NHL and AHL, appearing in 25 contests with the Rockford IceHogs while Colliton served as head coach of the AHL squad. 

The following season saw Colliton promoted to head coach in Chicago, with Gustafsson amassing his most impressive season with 60 points in 79 GP in 2018-19. The season after that, before he was traded to Calgary, Gustafsson had a respectable 26 points in 59 GP. One year after signing with Philadelphia in free agency, Gustafsson re-signed with his old club for another stint under Colliton. Even though, early in the season, Colliton was relieved of his duties and replaced, there is no doubt Gustafsson and Colliton have had their fair share of experience with one another. Whether or not this will affect the chances of Gustafsson signing with New Jersey this off-season remains to be seen.