Ramblings: Contracts for Slavin, Johnson, and Faksa; the New Jersey Devils – July 13

Michael Clifford

2017-07-12

The Hurricanes continued a busy off-season that’s included acquiring Scott Darling, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Marcus Kruger, as well as signing Justin Williams, by locking up Jaccob Slavin for seven more years beyond the 2017-18 campaign with an average annual value of $5.3 million.

The 23-year-old blue liner had 34 points in 82 games last year.

On the surface, Slavin is probably going to be a better real-world player than fantasy. That isn’t meant as a slight; he’s a very good young defenceman, and profiles as a solid top-pair guy for years to come. He is a guy, however, who hasn’t shot much over his first two years in the league, putting up a similar rate to other blue liners like Zach Bogosian and Nick Leddy. Of course, Leddy has fantasy relevance, so it’s very possible Slavin will eventually as well. The difference is that Leddy has often been used as the primary defenceman on the top power-play unit while last year Carolina used one of Justin Faulk or Noah Hanifin as primary power play options. This led to Slavin managing less than a minute per game of power-play time. Without more than a handful of power-play points, with his limited shot rate, it’ll be hard to have much fantasy relevance.

Those in cap leagues that aren’t in full rebuilding mode should be looking to trade Slavin. Faulk should be around for at least three more years, and though Hanifin’s name has been floated as trade bait, it’s hard to rely on rumour to build a fantasy roster. His role on the team likely means Slavin’s 2016-17 season is about what we can expect for production in 2017-18.

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Tampa Bay locked down one of their restricted free agents by signing Tyler Johnson to a seven-year deal with a $5 million AAV. Now they just have to deal with Ondrej Palat.

Johnson turns 27 nea