The New Jersey Devils have inked one of their final few restricted free agents, signing Kevin Rooney to a two-year contract. Rooney will have a two-way deal worth $700K in the NHL level during the 2018-19 season, and a one-way contract worth $700K in 2019-20.
Rooney, 25, has been a good minor league soldier for the Devils since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Providence College in 2016. That first contract was of the AHL variety, but he turned it into an NHL entry-level deal during the 2016-17 season in order to play four games for New Jersey. He spent almost the entire year in the minors again last season, but was a responsible two-way forward for the Binghamton Devils even while the team struggled to find much success on the ice.
That’s the role he’ll likely continue to play, though he’ll be rewarded with a one-way salary in the second year of this deal. It will take him through to unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020, but for now Binghamton is the most likely destination for Rooney. Still waiver-exempt for this season, he can pass freely up and down as needed and be an injury replacement for the Devils. He’ll be looking for his first NHL point if he is given any opportunity, something he hasn’t been able to register in his five career games.