Bratt Re-Signs

The wait is finally over! Jesper Bratt and the Devils have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with an AAV of $2.75 million. The announcement was made to day by Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald.

The contract is worth $5,500,000 overall and will see Bratt paid $2,050,000 in 2020-21 and $3,450,000 in 2021-22.

Bratt was someone the Devils needed to get signed. The 22-year-old forward “led the club in even-strength goals with 15 and set career highs with 16 goals and 101 shots (15.8% shooting percentage) in his 2019-21 campaign” according to the press release put out by the Devils.

Over his three-year NHL career, all with the Devils, he has 37 goals, 63 assists (100 points). Those 37 goals include five game winners. All that has come over 185 regular season games.

According to the press release, Bratt, a native of Stockholm, notched his 100th NHL point on March 6, 2020 against the St. Louis Blues.

Bratt has had his best season so far in 2017-18. He set career highs in games played (74), assists (22), points (35) and power play goals (four). The presser also notes that “he set a franchise record and is one of five players in the past 17 seasons to score 9PTS (3G-2A) in the first 2 games played of his NHL career.”

Bratt was a steal for New Jersey, drafted in the sixth round (162nd overall, in 2016. The press release notes that he was singed on May 12, 2017 and made his NHL debut against the Avalanche – where he scored his first two NHL points (one goal/one assist).

The Big Mac Attack is Back: Blackwood Agrees to Terms

Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, a restricted free agent, has agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $8,400,000.

Blackwood’s contract has an average annual value of $2,800,000, with $1,475,000 due to him in 2020-21; $2,800,000 due him in 2021-22 and $4,125,000 in 2022-23.

In the press release put out by the Devils, it mentioned that Blackwood, in his second season with the NHL club, had a 22-14-8 record with a 2.72 goals against average over 47 games played (including 43 starts). He finished sixth in the Calder Trophy voting and was voted second for goalies on the NHL All-Rookie Team. In his first season as a starter for the Devils, he set career highs in various categories. These include games played, starts and wins. He had a career-high three shutouts and a shutout streak at one time of 171:37.

February was his best month as he posted a 6-0-1 record, a .967 save percentage – a category in which he led all NHL goalies that month – and a 1.27 goals against average. He even had a point in the month, registering an assist on February 6.

His career stats see him with a 32-24-8 record over 70 NHL games, posting a 2.72 GAA and a .916 save percentage. He adds five shutouts to that resume. He made his NHL debut on December 18, 2018 against the Maple Leafs.

Devils Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald had the following to say about Blackwood: “Mackenzie is going to be one of the key young, core pieces for this organization for a long time and we are excited and extremely happy to have his under contract. He’s obviously show that he cab be a number one goalie, and the sky’s the limit for him.”

Blackwood is young (turning 24 on December 9) and could be the future for the team in net. The signing of veteran Stanley Cup-winning goalie Corey Crawford should help him develop with Crawford serving as a mentor.

Blackwood was picked by the Devils 42nd overall, in the second round of the 2015 Draft. He stands 6-feet, four inches and weighs in at 225 pounds. In his international career, he won a sliver medal with his teammate, defenseman Damon Severson at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, where he was also coached by new Devils’ head coach Lindy Ruff on Team Canada. Ruff served as an assistant with the Canadian team.

The goaltender also represented Canada in 2016 at the World Junior Championship.