Many Free Agent Decisions Waiting For New Jersey Devils

By Jonathan Katje
Clarkson Elias Devils NJ
Jim O’Connor – USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils head into the 2013 offseason with 12 forwards who finished the season with the team set to be free agents. Ranging from depth players to stars, this leaves the team with many decisions to make. They have a lot of their cap space tied up in Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, but after seeing Zach Parise leave last summer they can hardly afford to lose another star player. Patrik Elias is the most importnat player for the Devils to re-sign, especially after the team finished 28th in the league in goals per game.

Andrei Loktionov had a good season with the Devils, and likely wouldn’t cost much to bring back. In just 22 games, Loktionov scored eight goals, which was good enough to tie for fifth on the team. Two other players have reached the end of their entry-level contracts, and one is in for a substantial raise while the other may be head elsewhere. Adam Henrique will be an important piece for the Devils moving forward, but is in line to get a bigger payday after another solid season. Jacob Josefson still hasn’t done enough to impress, and if cap space become an issue he might not be coming back.

Danius Zubrus probably isn’t worth bringing back, which is also a good idea since David Clarkson is in line for a raise as well. Clarkson brings a great balance of scoring and physical play that makes him important for the Devils. That still leaves a decent handful of depth players, but bringing back Elias, Henrique and Clarkson needs to happen.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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