The New Jersey Devils have signed restricted free agent forward Fabian Zetterlund to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal carries an NHL salary of $750K, an AHL salary of $125K, and a minor league guarantee of $175K. Zetterlund was not yet eligible for salary arbitration.
Zetterlund, 22, is poised to take on a bigger role with the Devils this season, after an outstanding minor league campaign that carried over into an excellent stretch at the end of the season in the NHL. Playing 11 games in April with the Devils, he managed to score eight points, after racking up 52 in 58 games for the Utica Comets.
Now, with four veteran forwards on expiring contracts, the path to full-time NHL playing time is right in front of him. Tomas Tatar, Andreas Johnsson, Miles Wood, and Erik Haula will all be unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, meaning opportunity is on the horizon for young forwards in the system.
Given that Zetterlund is no longer waiver-exempt, he likely has a leg up on some of his competition. If he can secure a roster spot in training camp, he could be with the big club all season. If not, he will also make an interesting waiver claim candidate for another team with space in the bottom six.