Betting that he’ll continue his impressive development, the New Jersey Devils have signed Jonas Siegenthaler to a five-year contract extension, which kicks in for the 2023-24 season. The deal comes with an average annual value of $3.4MM and will carry the following payments:
- 2023-24: $4.25MM
- 2024-25: $4.0MM
- 2025-26: $3.2MM
- 2026-27: $3.0MM
- 2027-28: $2.55MM
It cost the Devils just a third-round pick to land the young defenseman last year, when the Washington Capitals were running into a roster crunch and couldn’t keep everyone around. Almost from the moment he arrived in New Jersey, Siegenthaler seemed like a perfect fit and immediately started producing improved results in bigger minutes.
Now 25, the Swiss defender was a second-round pick of the Capitals in 2015 and had played just 97 NHL games before the trade. This year, he suited up 70 times for the Devils and averaged more than 20 minutes a night, becoming arguably the team’s most reliable defensive option. While it’s unlikely Siegenthaler will ever put up the kind of point totals that Damon Severson or Dougie Hamilton are known for, locking in a top-four defenseman for $3.4MM through his entire prime is tidy work from general manager Tom Fitzgerald.
After acquiring John Marino earlier this summer, it now gives the team three defenders locked into long-term contracts through at least 2026-27, plus plenty of young talent coming through the system. Simon Nemec, Luke Hughes, and Shakir Mukhamadullin make up a trio of defensive prospects that is difficult to match and could give the Devils a huge advantage in the years to come.
In fact, Siegenthaler seems like a perfect match for Nemec moving forward, balancing out the Slovak’s tendency to rove around the ice with a more stable defensive presence. Hughes, meanwhile could be paired with Hamilton or Marino when he gets to New Jersey, giving the team an impressive blueline within just a few seasons.
The question now will be what happens to Severson and Ryan Graves, who are both heading into the last year of their respective contracts and scheduled for unrestricted free agency next summer.
Joe Carters walkoff
Teams will be interested in both. I know Edmonton kicked tires on Graves
Great signing. Actually think this is a great move locking him up on Left Side to pair with either Hamilton or eventually Nemec. As for Severson and Graves, I’m not sure we have the depth to move on from BOTH now or if we have to wait until the deadline. The writing is on the wall for Severson as the Devils aren’t going to extend him at $5.5-6.5M AAV (currently at $4.16M) when they are committed to Hamilton ($9M), Marino ($4.4M) and Nemec (2nd Overall). I’d try working the phones for something for Severson now and let Walsh get some time on the right side (assuming Nemec starts in Utica).
With Siegenthaler and Hugues set on the left side in 2023-2024, I think the writing may be on the wall for him as well. I’d rather not lose him for nothing, but they may want to hold onto Graves until the trade deadline, giving Bahl and Okhotyuk some additional time in Utica.
The team is better (on paper) than last year. I like Vanecek deal (even though Husso was had for just a 3rd and didn’t have to move down in the 2nd, but I assume the Devils were fine with Seamus Casey in the 2nd). I like the Marino deal, though I question whether or not we gave up too much for a defensive defenseman (and whose cap hit is $1M higher than Sieganthaler’s). But overall, I’m onboard with paying for Defensive Defenseman. The Haula deal is a good move. Good on the faceoff, fast, veteran and netted 18 goals (and previous high was 29 goals with Vegas). The Palat deal was horrible. I get it – “Veteran Winner”. But at $6M for 5 years, makes trading for Meier (on Nico’s wing) or Nylander (on Hughes’ wing) basically unrealistic.
As for Free Agents, I’d still take a look at centers UFA Evan Rodrigues (Pitt) who netted 19 goals & RFA C Nic Roy (VGS), and my favorite, RFA RW Keegan Kolesar (VGS) 246 hits.
The Palat move was 1 or 2 seasons too early. He’s a “final piece” guy more than a halfway through rebuild guy.
Not really a roster crunch why the Caps let Jonas go to NJ for next to nothing, rather, the year began with the Caps opting for age over developing players, and they brought in Chara. This relegated Jonas to healthy scratch status for most of the season, then, when Laviolette finally DID give him a sweater, he sat him nearly the entire game, putting him in literally with less than a minute left in the game. Jonas wisely requested a trade. This will hopefully be Lavs last season with the Caps, while Jonas hopefully continues to build on a solid career with the Devils.