New Jersey has re-upped with one of its brightest blueline prospects, signing Eric Gelinas to a two-year contract extension worth $3.15 million.
Gelinas will be paid $1.5M in the first year and $1.65M in the second, per CBC. The deal carries an average annual cap hit of $1.575 million.
“They were talking for a while, so I was just waiting for my agent to give me some news and they told me today that they agreed on the terms,” Gelinas said, per NorthJersey.com. “Obviously, I’m more comfortable with a two-year deal. It’s a nice little bridge deal. I’m really happy to have agreed before arbitration also. I’m really happy with the deal.”
The two sides were scheduled to go to arbitration on July 21.
Gelinas, 24, is coming off his first two full seasons with the Devils — in ’13-14, he enjoyed a solid rookie campaign by scoring seven goals and 29 points in 60 games; last year, his production dipped slightly (six goals and 19 points) in 61 contests.
Gelinas also fell on some tough times.
He was parked as a healthy scratch for a six-game stretch in February amid concerns about his defensive awareness, the second time such concerns had been raised. Previously, in December, Gelinas was made a healthy scratch for two games.
“What young players, especially young defensemen, have to understand is if you create three chances and give up three, we’re not further ahead,” then-head coach Peter DeBoer said of Gelinas’ struggles, per the Bergen Record. “We always talk about having a positive impact on the game. [If] you’re creating one chance and giving up none, that’s a positive impact.
“If you’re creating five and giving up five, we’re no further ahead and that’s the battle for young defensemen and offensive players.”