This summer’s top free agent defenceman is off the market

Photo credit:Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
10 months ago
The New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets have pulled off a sign-and-trade.
Heading to Columbus is defenceman Damon Severson, who just agreed to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension. In exchange, the Blue Jackets are sending a third-round pick to the Devils.
“Damon is a versatile defenseman who has great vision, moves the puck extremely well, has good size and can play heavy minutes at both ends of the ice,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “We are excited to have him join the Blue Jackets as he will be a very important part of our blueline for many years to come.”
Severson was selected by the Devils in the second round of the 2012 draft and he made his NHL debut a few years later during the 2014-15 season. Since then, he’s emerged as a quality two-way defender on New Jersey’s blueline. Through 647 games with the Devils, Severson scored 263 points and logged an average of 21:11 per game.
Severson signed a six-year, $25 million deal with the Devils after the conclusion of his entry-level contract in 2017. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time this summer and was ranked No. 1 on Daily Faceoff’s impending free agents list heading into July 1.
There was some talk that Severson could be a good fit for the Oilers on the right side of their blueline, but the team would have had to free up a considerable amount of salary cap room in order to make that possible. Among defencemen, the Oilers have Darnell Nurse, Mattias Eklhom, Cody Ceci, Philip Broberg, and Vincent Desharnais under contract for the 2023-24 season while Evan Bouchard is a restricted free agent in need of a new contract.

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