The New Jersey Devils announced that they agreed to a seven-year, $63 million contract with free-agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton on Wednesday.
Hamilton joined the Devils from the Carolina Hurricanes. Last season, the 28-year-old scored 10 goals and 42 points.
Team sources reported that general manager Tom Fitzgerald wants to improve the quality of the Devils. They missed the playoffs in eight of the past nine seasons.
It is hoped that Hamilton, with his $9 million average annual salary, can lead a Devils’ line that is currently full of young and inexperienced players.
New Jersey was also recently joined by defensemen Jonas Siegenthaler, acquired in a trade from Washington Capitals, and Ryan Graves, who was acquired via trade from Colorado Acalanche earlier this month.
Hamilton joined the ranks of Nico Hischier, center Jack Hughes, goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, and defenseman Ty Smith as the Devils’ core. It will also include defenseman Luke Hughes, Jack’s younger brother, who was selected No. 4 overall in last week’s NHL draft.
New Jersey also has former All-Star P.K. Subban on its roster at a price tag of $9 million. However, the player’s deal is set to expire in one year.
The Devils traded Will Butcher to the Buffalo Sabres after signing Hamilton.