NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton tweets that Devils Ilya Kovalchuk has told several clubs that he wants a three-year deal worth at least $6.5MM if he will consider returning to the NHL. Many teams have expressed interest and the belief is that the Devils’ Ray Shero wants to move Kovalchuk in hopes of bringing back a young player and a pick. He scored 32 goals last year in the KHL and has previously expressed interest in staying in the New York area, although not likely for the Devils, or to play in Florida. However, that hasn’t stopped most teams from inquiring with New Jersey. The New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets both have expressed interest in acquiring the 34-year-old wing.
International reporter Slava Malamud tweets that Kovalchuk’s demand is in line with what he is making in the KHL. He made $5.5MM with his team, St. Petersburg SKA last season and, according to Malamud, he is being offered $6.5MM now to stay in Russia.
- The Record’s Andrew Gross tweets that New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero is still looking to sign Harvard University center Alexander Kerfoot. The 22-year-old was a fifth-round pick by New Jersey in the 2012 draft and just wrapped up his final season for the Crimson. He finally had a breakout season this year, putting up 16 goals and 29 assists as a senior. The problem is that since he’s a fourth-year college player, there is a loophole that allows four-year players to become free agents on Aug. 1. Some believe the Vancouver native may choose to sign with his hometown team instead.
- The Devils have high hopes that not only will 2017 first-overall pick Nico Hischier make the opening night roster for New Jersey, but the team also hopes that 2016 first rounder Michael McLeod might join him. The 12th-overall pick scored 27 goals for the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads and Gross tweets that the team hopes he could take over as the team’s third-line center.