The Devils played the final game of the 2017 Prospects Challenge earlier today and fell, 9-3 to the Boston Bruins.
Although it was an ugly score, Amanda Stein, writing for the Devils’ website, found many positives from the game. She said that “Blake Speers scored for a second consecutive game” which shows some development in his offensive game. She also mentioned that Nick Lappin scored a goal and had a fight against Sean Kuraly of the Bruins. He fell an assist short of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
With the Prospects Challenge out of the way, the team (veterans and rookies alike) will convene in Newark for the Devils’ training camp – set to open September 15, this Friday.
One Devil who will be joining the group with his signature newly affixed to a six year contract is Damon Severson. He signed on today for those six years with an average annual salary of $4,166,700. He would have been a restricted free agent otherwise. This takes him through the 2022-23 season and the Devils’ website press release breaks the salary down as follows: 2017-18: $2,500,000; 2018-19: $3,000,000; 2019-20: $4,675,000; 2020-21: $4,675,000; 2021-22: $5,050,000; 2022-23: $5,100,000.
Severson is a good, puck moving defenseman that brings an element of offense to the blueline. Having a player like him along with Will Butcher will give the Devils something they have not had on defense in recent seasons. Locking him up long-term was a good move by Ray Shero. Shero mentioned in the press release that “Damon brings an important dimension to our hockey club and he is a young defenseman that we are excited to work with. This deal shows our ownership’s commitment in what we continue to build here. We look forward to helping Damon continue to grow and develop as a player.”
Severson is just 23 years-old and has 203 NHL regular season games under his belt, all with New Jersey. The contract will take him until he is 29 years-old and just entering his athletic prime. He will still be learning and developing into the kind of blueliner the Devils need: someone who is not afraid to take offensive chances when necessary.
His career totals include nine goals and 60 assists for 69 points and 112 penalty minutes according to the press release. The Melville, Saskatchewan native played junior hockey with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League and was the 60th overall pick (the Devils’ second) in the 2012 NHL Draft.