New Jersey Devils and Jesper Bratt over $2 million difference in arbitration cases

The New Jersey Devils and Jesper Bratt have filed their desired salaries for the winger, both $2.35 million apart heading into his August 1 arbitration hearing.

The Devils demanded $4.15 million in salary for Bratt, while he submitted $6.5 million. Bratt previously earned $2.75 million a year on a two-year contract and is seeking a big pay raise after a career year.

Bratt has posted nearly a point-per-game pace this season in 76 games for the Devils, with 26 goals, 47 assists and 73 points. The three totals are well above his career high, beating his previous highs of 16 goals in 2019-20, 25 assists in 2018-19 and 35 points in 2017-18.

Although the point totals are new, Bratt has always been a playmaker, so it was only a matter of time before his points caught up with his game. He’s definitely better on offense than defense, but that doesn’t hamper his overall play, with a 51.4% shot attempt share and an expected 53.73% goal share at even strength over the past three seasons, both leading the Devils.

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It will be interesting to see what comes out of this situation with the two parties as far apart as they are. Bratt was on Frank Seravalli’s list of trade targets in the past, but is not currently, and Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said that they won’t trade Bratt either. That may be the case now, but relationships are usually soured in arbitration hearings. Perhaps both parties are pushing to reach an agreement before the hearing, especially with the new rule that once the hearing begins, there is no going back.

There are currently 10 players with a cap on Bratt’s deposited salary of $6.5 million, a list highlighted by Chris Kreider, Sam Reinhart and the recently signed Claude Giroux. Only Anthony Beauvillier reached the $4.15 million cap the Devils put down.

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