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.