New Jersey continued to fill out its forward group on Tuesday, with a pair of signings.
First, GM Ray Shero locked in RFA center Jacob Josefson with a one-year, $1.1 million extension. Josefson, 25, gets a nice raise from the $800,000 he made last year, thanks to posting career-highs in assists (10) and points (14) in 58 games.
He averaged 15:31 TOI per game in ’15-16, and was one of the club’s busiest centers in the faceoff circle, finishing third on the team in draws won.
Shortly after the Josefson deal was announced, Shero revealed the club had also signed UFA forward Luke Gazdic.
Gazdic, 26, comes aboard on a one-year, two-way deal worth $700,000 at the NHL level. A noted tough guy, Gazdic has spent the last three years in the Edmonton organization and appeared in 29 games last season.
One assumes Gazdic was brought aboard to replace some of what was lost with Jordin Tootoo, who signed in Chicago earlier today. Tootoo fought nine times for the Devils last year and was one of the club’s most physical presences, and Gazdic is a well-known pugilist himself (in ’13-14, he fought a whopping 15 times.)
As mentioned above, today’s moves continue in Shero’s re-working of New Jersey’s forward group. The biggest move was the blockbuster trade to acquire Taylor Hall from Edmonton — Gazdic’s former teammate, it must be mentioned — but Shero also acquired former first-rounder Beau Bennett from Pittsburgh, and signed veteran center Vern Fiddler from Dallas.