Players from the Atlantic Division the New Jersey Devils can steal in NHL free agency

The New Jersey Devils need to be active in NHL free agency, and the Atlantic Division has plenty of solid players who wouldn’t mind playing in Newark.
Apr 8, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) tries to poke the puck away from Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) tries to poke the puck away from Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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Tyler Bertuzzi, W/Toronto

Tyler Bertuzzi may be one of the better names on this list, especially if he enjoys a season similar to the one he had a couple of seasons back when he was with the Detroit Red Wings. Bertuzzi had 62 points and 30 goals during that campaign, and he also scored 21 apiece in 2018-19 and 2019-20. It’s clear Bertuzzi was a great fit for the Red Wings, but he repeated that success last year with Toronto. 

For the fourth time in his career, Bertuzzi reached the 21-goal threshold, and he did so with lesser average total ice time than what he received during those other 21-goal campaigns in the Motor City. It was also an incredible renaissance following a 2022-23 season in Detroit and later Boston that saw him miss 32 contests, and it showed us how good Bertuzzi can be when healthy. 

Bertuzzi’s overall defensive play isn’t stellar, but it’s not non-existent, as he’s another physical forward on this list who can land body checks. And Bertuzzi, as has been the case recently in his NHL career, will also steal pucks. 

T.J. Brodie, D/Toronto

Yep, we’re talking about a second member of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the Keefe era and one who doesn’t bring as much of a two-way game as the other blueliners on this list I mentioned earlier. The one downside is that Brodie is an older player, and that may not fit well for a younger team like the Devils. 

But those in Newark need a player who, while not a physical defenseman in the way Brandon Montour, positions himself well to constantly get in front of shots, and who can consistently bring top-four minutes to the table. 

Brodie was also one of the few defensemen Toronto had who played a solid game all over the ice. He logged a 90.5 on-ice save percentage and a 10.7 percent on-ice shooting percentage at even strength. Brodie was on the ice for 80 of the Maple Leafs goals in the same situation, or 15.0 above expected. And although he was also on the ice for another 67 goals, it factored in as just 8.7 above expected. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)