The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils for the 80th overall pick in 2023 NHL Draft (which was originally acquired from the Calgary Flames, via the Seattle Kraken). New Jersey re-signed the 28-year-old to an eight-year contract extension that carries a $6.25 million cap hit before trading him.
While averaging 19:57 per game (fourth among New Jersey defensemen), including 1:21 on the power play (second) and 1:02 on the penalty kill (fifth), Severson earned seven goals, 33 points, a +9 rating, 56.54% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage (78th in NHL), 60.68% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage (43rd), and 59.64% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage (55th).
Damon Severson, acquired and signed 8x$6.25M by CBJ, is an analytical darling offensive defenceman with excellent passing ability whose tendency to make the occasional Big Mistake often earned him the ire of Devils fans. #CBJ pic.twitter.com/nN46AcHw1F
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 9, 2023
Columbus, who acquired defenseman Ivan Provorov from the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, adds another blueliner after the team gave up the second-most goals-per-game (4.01) and had the eighth-worst penalty kill (75.1%) last season. The team finished last in the Eastern Conference by 11 points and is set to hire Mike Babcock as their new head coach after his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs expires on June 30.
Severson, who tallied a goal and three points in 12 postseason games for New Jersey this past Spring, has 58 goals and 263 points in 647 career regular-season games. He set career highs in goals (11), assists (35), and points (46) in 80 games during the 2021-22 season.
New Jersey loses a key piece from their defense after they finished eighth in goals-against per game (2.71), 13th in power-play efficiency (21.9%), and tied for fourth in penalty-killing efficiency (82.6%).
By Harrison Brown