According to Elliotte Friedman, the Devils and Jesper Bratt have agreed to a long-term contract.
Hearing NJ and Jesper Bratt are closing in on an 8-year extension with a $7.875M AAV. Do the math and it’s $63M — which happens to be Bratt’s jersey number.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 15, 2023
This news has been confirmed by Pierre LeBrun and Kevin Weekes.
**Breaking News**— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 15, 2023
The @NJDevils agree to an 8 Yr Contract Extension with F Jesper Bratt. I’m told the AAV is similar to that of Kevin Fiala.@espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey @DKSportsbook #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/JFtcjsIG6z
JFresh seems to be a big fan of this deal. I am as well.
By the A3Z tracked data, Bratt was roughly the fourth best forward for the Devils in the playoffs. Got snakebitten with a 4% shooting percentage. pic.twitter.com/o54Z48eU1c— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 15, 2023
As you’re well aware, the cat and mouse game between Jesper Bratt, his representation, and Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald when it comes to a long-term deal has gone on for several years now. That’s all ancient history now as Fitz got his man, and Bratt has secured long-term financial security. With an 8-year deal in hand, Bratt is entrenched as part of the Devils core moving forward along with Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Dougie Hamilton, among others.
When I wrote about Bratt a few weeks ago and what kind of contract he might get, I thought that Bratt would probably come in around $8.2M. I had mentioned that the recent long-term deals for Kevin Fiala and Jordan Kyrou were likely the baseline for a Bratt deal and that Bratt would just come in over that. As it turns out, Jesper Bratt’s AAV will match that of Fiala from his long-term deal signed last summer, while the 8-year term matches that of Kyrou, and the Devils will have secured Bratt’s services through his age 32 season.
The fact that Fitzgerald managed to get this done at a number under Jack Hughes’s $8M AAV is huge, as that’ll give the Devils more clarity and flexibility going forward with their cap situation. Assuming these reported figures are indeed correct, the Devils have $26.4M in cap space remaining with Timo Meier and the remainder of the Devils RFAs and UFAs pending. I’d be stunned if we also got resolution on Meier’s situation today, other than the team perhaps electing for arbitration prior to the 5pm ET deadline today, but now that Bratt is done, Fitzgerald can shift his focus to other matters at hand. Mainly, getting Timo Meier signed long-term and the Devils other pending offseason business.
The bottom line is that Jesper Bratt will be a New Jersey Devil through the 2030-31 season. Bratt should continue to remain a highly productive, scoring winger throughout the duration of that deal as the Devils secured his all of his remaining prime years. The core of this Devils team, a team that set a franchise record for points in a season and won a playoff round, is more or less in place. The Hughes brothers are 22 and 19 years old. Bratt and Nico Hischier are 24. Dawson Mercer is 21. If you believe Akira Schmid is the goaltender of the future, he’s 23. There’s a lot of good young players on the roster already who are still under the age of 30 and good high-end prospects still to come. The future for the Devils is very bright, and with this news today, Jesper Bratt will be a part of that.
What do you think of this deal? Are you happy that Bratt is signed? Are you happy the numbers are what they are? Too much? Not enough? Please feel free to leave a comment and thanks for reading.