The RFA has been re-signed to a $5.5 million deal.
The 2020-21 regular season is just days away, but that’s not stopping the New Jersey Devils from continuing to make moves.
On Sunday evening, the Devils announced that they had re-signed restricted free agent left winger Jesper Bratt to a two-year, $5.5 million deal that carries an AAV of $2.75 million.
#NEWS: You've all been such brats lately, hounding us for a signing…
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 10, 2021
This will come as a relief to Devils fans, as the 22-year-old Swede has become one of the team’s top and most important forwards.
I wrote a review of Bratt’s 2019-20 season back in June, which is now worth re-visiting.
Bratt was taken by the Devils in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and was named to the team’s opening night roster for the 2017-18 season.
Bratt was one of several players to begin the 2019-20 season on a bad note, but benefited from the departure of head coach John Hynes.
Bratt’s line ended up becoming one of the team’s biggest offensive threats and Bratt, himself, came out of the season as a much better player on both ends of the ice. He had struggled on the defensive end but improved greatly in that regard.
Completing the season with 16 goals (a career-high) and 16 assists, Bratt was on track to set a career-high record in points and potentially assists, as well.
His 32 points were good for fourth on the team (note: Kyle Palmieri and Nikita Gusev, who were first and second in scoring on the team, respectively, both played more games than Bratt).
The divisions have been realigned for the 2021 season, and the Devils have unfortunately been placed in the East Division, the most competitive of them all.
It’s unlikely that the Devils will make the playoffs this season but the continued development of the team’s youngsters should be a priority for the coaching staff. That includes Bratt.
Bratt will likely be featured as a top-six forward for the Devils, and ensuring that he keeps improving both offensively and defensively, at even-strength, on the power play, and on the penalty kill, is crucial.