The New Jersey Devils are signing defenseman Damon Severson to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension, and shipping him to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a sign-and-trade move, which is rare in the NHL. In return, the Blue Jackets will send a 2023 third-round pick (No. 80 overall) for Severson's services.
Severson was slated to be one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market when free agency opens on July 1. The veteran defenseman is coming off of a season in which he tallied 33 points (seven goals, 26 assists) in 81 games for the Devils. Severson recorded a career-high 46 points (11 goals, 35 assists) during the 2021-22 season.
He was originally taken with the No. 60 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft by the Devils. The blue-liner has spent his entire nine-year career in New Jersey and has recorded 58 goals and 205 assists during that time. He had signed a six-year, $25 million deal with the franchise in Sept. 2017.
Sign-and-trades are rare in the NHL, but this move marks the second consecutive offseason in which there has been one. Last summer, the Calgary Flames signed star forward Matthew Tkachuk to a eight-year, $76 million contract extension prior to sending him to the Florida Panthers.
One of the more noteworthy sign-and-trades in NHL history involved Marian Hossa when he was with the Ottawa Senators. In 2005, Hossa signed a three-year, $18 million contact with the Senators before the team traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for then All-Star forward Dany Heatley.