The New Jersey Devils could be without Jesper Bratt to start the season, as the restricted free agent is still unsigned. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the 22-year-old forward is still in Sweden, noting that it would be tough even now to get in on time with visa complications and quarantine. Even those things would need a contract to be worked out first, something that may not be all that close. Friedman writes that though the two sides are still communicating there is “not a ton of talk, and there’s a bit of a gap at this time.”
Bratt, who was a sixth-round pick just a few years ago, has been one of the bright spots on a Devils team that has struggled the last few seasons. Though his play has certainly not been consistent, he still put up 16 goals and 32 points in just 60 games last season and figures to play a top-six role on the team this year once he signs. Of course, every day he misses leaves the door open for other players to impress, including newcomer Andreas Johnsson who has been skating next to Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri so far.
- Speaking of missing time, several prospects at the World Junior Championship will waste none at all after their championship game this evening. Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev, and Tobias Bjornfot will all be on a chartered flight back to Southern California to join the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings respective training camps. Because they are coming out of the bubble and will not be flying commercial, McKenzie reports that these players will likely not have to quarantine for seven days (though they will still have to adhere to NHL testing protocols). The same process will take Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn to Buffalo Sabres camp.
- Injuries are already popping up around the league and in Toronto the Maple Leafs could be without Alexander Kerfoot the next few days. Head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters including Kristen Shilton of TSN that Kerfoot is day-to-day after suffering an injury today in practice. The Maple Leafs had split their training groups quite distinctly, meaning if Kerfoot is held out it would open the door for one of the expected non-roster players to get a chance.