The 24-year-old is coming off of his best season at the AHL level after posting 18 goals and 32 assists in 70 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, ranking second on the team in scoring to winger Daniel Sprong. He also collected an assist in three postseason contests.
Dea does not have a lot of NHL experience as he has suited up in just six games in Pittsburgh, five of which came last season where he scored his first NHL goal but averaged just 5:29 of ice time per game. However, teams are now more inclined to try smaller offensive-minded players and it appears he’ll get a longer look in New Jersey where he will battle for a spot at the end of their lineup. The Devils are certainly familiar with him – head coach John Hynes had him for a year at the AHL level while GM Ray Shero also has some extra information about him from his time with the Penguins.
Dea will make the league minimum of $650K in the NHL while his salary dips to $200K if he was to later clear waivers and be sent to the minors.