The Devils don’t have to worry about a Nico Hischier contract negotiation dragging out next summer, as they have signed the 2017 first overall pick to a seven-year, $50.75 million contract extension. The new contract has an AAV of $7.25 million and kicks in next season. This might seem like a large sum of money to pay now, but if Hischier eventually becomes an elite option, this might seem like a bargain.
Teams with players set to become RFAs next summer already seem to be proactive in order to repeat what happened this past offseason, as Thomas Chabot, Samuel Girard, Clayton Keller, and Alex DeBrincat have all been signed to long-term deals. Whether salary cap leaguers like these deals or not, at least they can begin planning for next season earlier if they own any of these players.
James Neal just keeps on rolling. The resurgent veteran scored another goal on Friday, giving him a league-leading nine goals (to go with just one assist). Neal is also tied for the league lead with six power-play goals. Neal is the early favorite for comeback player of the year, as he’s already surpassed his goal total from all of last season and it’s only mid-October. Even if he hits a major slump soon, he seems to be a lock for 20 goals and possibly a lot more.
In case you’re curious, Neal has fetched the likes of Artemi Panarin, Timo Meier, Vladimir Tarasenko, Gabriel Landeskog, Pavel Buchnevich, and Mika Zibanejad in recent one-for-one trades on Yahoo. Seems kind of all over the map, but that group is chock full of top 100 value. I know it