New Jersey Devils 5 biggest internal contract decisions this offseason

The New Jersey Devils have a boatload on their agenda this offseason, with head coach and goalie still at the top of the list. However, the Devils have plenty of internal decisions they still need to make.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Dawson Mercer

This is the biggest internal contract decision of the season. While many Devils fans seem to be slightly out on Dawson Mercer when it comes to being a future cog in the contention window, Mercer is still a great player. He wasn’t what he was in 2022-23, but he hasn’t missed a game in three years in the NHL and he still contributed in many ways.

Mercer still scored 20 goals last season despite the Devils being in the tank. He also never found himself in the top six and spent 143 killing penalties (only Erik Haula had more time on the PK amongst forwards). He actually wasn’t half bad, giving up just 17 goals in that time (Haula gave up 20 in just a few minutes more). 

The Devils thought the Mercer contract was going to be a hard one to swallow. If he grew from his 56-point 22-23 season, he might have asked for a big contract, but now he could come down as a bargain.

And the reason for that is it would be smart for the Devils to sign Mercer long-term. If they can get a valuable deal for Mercer for five years or more, this could severely help them with any possible cap issues in the future. The way teams like Vegas and Tampa continue to compete is because they find players like William Karlsson, Zach Whitecloud, Brandon Hagel, and Erik Cernak. They don’t always work, but Mercer has enough to earn a minimum five-year deal.