Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils will re-sign Nathan Bastian.
At the 5 PM deadline to qualify restricted free agents on Friday, the Devils opted not to do so with Nathan Bastian. Instead, they punted negotiations to free agency. General manager Tom Fitzgerald has put on a masterclass so far this offseason and this was another move that worked out in his favor. On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Devils and Bastian are nearing an extension.
When Bastian wasn’t qualified on Friday, the idea was that New Jersey believed he had a strong arbitration case. Bastian’s qualifying offer sat at $918,750.
The Devils later announced that Bastian re-signed with the Devils for two years, $2.7 million in total.
Injuries were a factor in Bastian’s season in 2022-23, however in 42 games he scored six goals and 15 points. In the playoffs, Bastian chipped in a goal and an assist in 12 games. With so much firepower, New Jersey doesn’t rely on Bastian to provide points as much as they depend on his muscle. As part of one of the better fourth lines in the NHL, the Devils depend on Bastian’s 6-foot-4, 205 lb frame to provide physicality.
Still, the Devils utilized Bastian on their second unit power play. As a big body that screens goaltenders at the top of their opponents’ crease. He didn’t tally any power-play points this season, however.
The Devils drafted Bastian in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft, 41st overall. Bastian played in New Jersey Between 2018 and 2022 before he was claimed by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. Bastian played 12 games for Seattle scoring one goals and one assist. He was then put on waivers and the Devils reclaimed the Kitchener, Ontario native.
In Bastian’s four-year NHL career, he’s scored 24 goals and 46 points in 163 NHL games.
In other news, NHL Networks Mike Kelly reports that Jesper Boqvist won’t return to New Jersey.
The Devils have brought in an influx of talent and Boqvist’s spot in the lineup has seemingly been pushed out. In four seasons with the Devils, Boqvist scored 28 goals and 55 points in 189 games.
Last season, Boqvist was in and out of the lineup scoring 10 goals and 21 points in 70 games.
The Devils drafted Boqvist in the second round of the 2017 NHL draft, 36th overall. He will reportedly test free agency.