On Monday, the NHL named New Jersey Devils forward Lee Stempniak the NHL's second star of the week. With 4 goals and assists in 3 games, Stempniak tallied 5 points this week among the Devils 5-game win streak.
Stempniak's play seems to reach new levels against his old teams. Against the Calgary Flames, he scored a goal to go with an assist in the Devils' 4-2 win. On Saturday, Stempniak played Winnipeg Jets, the team who he played for last season and scored two goals. The game where he did not play a former team, he still managed to score against Ottawa Senators in a big win for the wild card standings.
Stempniak's success this season has been nothing short of spectacular. Since being signed during training camp, he is second on the team in scoring behind Michael Cammalleri. His 14 goals are good for 3rd, while his 22 assists are good for second on the team. His production has come alongside Adam Henrique and Michael Cammalleri, forming not only the Devils top line but one of the best first lines in the league.
Being one of the best bargain players in the NHL, Stempniak, 32, has a 1-year contract worth $850,000. If the Devils choose to re-sign him for next season, we will see a much larger contract for a player having a career year. On the other hand, if the Devils choose to listen to offers for Stempniak, he may return a first-round pick or a high-level prospect. Regardless of what the future holds for Stempniak, he has been an unbelievable addition to the team and has produced far above what was expected.
How do you think the addition of Lee Stempniak has changed the Devils outlook for this season? What will the future hold for Stempniak, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year? Let us know your thoughts and thank you for reading.