Kyle Palmieri‘s first year in New Jersey was terrific — he led the club in nearly every major offensive category — and now, the Devils are making it clear they want Palmieri for the long haul.
“I look forward to signing him to a longer term contract, if that’s possible,” GM Ray Shero said, per NJ Advance Media. “If that’s not possible he has arbitration rights. We’re going to get a contract one way or another.”
Palmieri, a Montvale native, enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first year back in New Jersey. The 25-year-old he’s notched a career-high 30 goals and 57 points this season, making good on the pedigree that saw Anaheim take him in the first round — 26th overall — of the 2009 draft.
In speaking to PHT back in January, Shero said one of the reasons he acquired Palmieri from the Ducks last summer is because of his contractual status. Palmieri’s a Group 2 free agent, meaning that — while he does have arbitration rights — he’s still a club-controlled player, so the Devils have a fair bit of authority over how the contractual situation plays out.
Shero re-explained as much this week.
“That was one of the reasons for trading for Kyle,” he said. “He’s not only a good young player but one we can hold for a couple of years.”
Palmieri’s in the last of a three-year, $4.4 million deal with a $1.46M cap hit and, per NorthJersey, he’s “open to signing a long-term extension.” It’s a given the Devils will have to fork out some cash to buy UFA years — Palmieri can become one in the summer of 2018 — and that’s something Shero has shown a willingness to do.
Last summer, Shero inked d-man Adam Larsson to a six-year, $25 million extension, his first major contract extension since coming aboard as GM.