Early Friday morning, Elliotte Friedman announced a sign-and-trade sending Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The deal fetched the Devils a 2023 3rd round pick which was currently slated to be No. 80 overall. Columbus had previously received the pick from the Seattle Kraken.
The deal for Severson is 8 years at $6.25M AAV (Average Annual Value) with $10.8M in bonuses which bolsters the Columbus Blue Jackets’ top-4 on the blue line. Below is a breakdown of Severson’s contract.
-2023-23: $6M salary, $2M Bonus
-2024-25: $6M salary, $2M Bonus
-2025-26: $5.5M salary, $2M Bonus
-2026-27: $4.1M salary, $2M Bonus
-2027-28: $3.3M salary, $1.8M Bonus
-2028-29: $5.1M salary, $1M Bonus
-2029-30: $5.1M salary, No Bonus
-2030-31: $5.1M salary, No Bonus
Today we will quickly take a look at what the trade does for both sides.
Damon Severson Traded from Devils to Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
There’s no question that losing Severson is a bitter taste in the mouth of Devils fans. He was New Jersey’s longest-tenured Devil and had overcome a ton of adversity. Most of his lengthy career with the team was during a rebuild. The reality of the situation is the Devils were going to lose Severson regardless.
If GM Tom Fitzgerald wants to re-sign star wingers Timo Meier and Jesper Bratt, then something had to give in other areas due to cap complications. The Devils have a young star in the making Luke Hughes, who is more than prepared to step in and fill Severson’s role next year on an ELC (Entry Level Contract).
With Hughes ready to step up and UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent) Severson looking for a huge bag of money with a lengthy term, losing Severson was only a matter of time. The Devils only had two choices in this situation.
Choice 1: Let Severson walk to free agency as the #1 touted prospect where he would be able to choose his future destination and risk receiving nothing in return.
Choice 2: Trade Severson’s rights to an interested team and receive somewhat of a return in the process.
The Devils seemed to go the second route by not only trading his rights to Columbus but signing Severson beforehand to maximize the return. The deal fetched the Devils a 3rd round pick which holds decent quality value for this year’s NHL Draft. Some pretty good work by GM Fitzgerald and the Devils.
Columbus Blue Jackets
As a Devils fan, I can sit here all day and rave about the person and player Columbus is getting in Severson but nobody has time for that so I will try and make this brief.
The Saskatchewan native, right-side offensive defenseman is an analytical darling with incredible passing ability. He has a knack for making bold passes which would result in either the occasional silly mistake or an incredible stretch pass across the ice for a high-danger chance.
Severson has a WAR% (Wins Above Replacement) of 94%, which is very impressive. He can quarterback the PP2 (2nd line power play) and has a heavy shot that can get through traffic from the blue line.
In the last 72 hours, the Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired Severson and Ivan Provorov, setting themselves up for a lethal blue line and a run at the playoffs. The trade clearly speeds up any sign of a rebuild in Columbus.
I’ve always believed that if you feel the perfect player to fit your system is available on the market, then you should go get him and that’s exactly what the Blue Jackets did.
Giving up a third-round pick to solidify getting your player is more than worth the risk. I applaud Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen for locking up Severson before hitting the market and becoming available to other teams.
The only thing about this trade I’m skeptical about is an 8-year contract will bring Severson to age 36, which will be after his prime. The back end of this contract just screams a buy-out if Severson cannot sustain the above-projected analytics.
For now, the trade seems to be a win for everyone. The Devils receive a 3rd round pick, the Blue Jackets get their guy locked up for 8 years, and Severson gets the big bag of money he’s worked so hard to earn.
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