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Devils Top Prospect Can Now Sign Contract With New Jersey



New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils top prospect Seamus Casey is now free to sign his first NHL contract.

Casey’s NCAA season came to an end last night when the No. 1 seeded Boston College blanked Michigan 4-0 in the Frozen Four semifinal matchup.

Casey returned from injury and slotted back in on the Wolverines top pair after missing a game and a half of the play round.

After an excellent season skating as Michigan’s top defenseman, Casey finished his sophomore year with seven goals and 38 assists for 45 points in 40 games.

Seamus Casey’s sophomore season is certainly an impressive upgrade from a solid freshman year scoring eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 37 games.

Michigan is likely to see an exodus of top talent such as Frank Nazar, Rutger McGroarty, and Gavin Brindley, all of whom are likely to sign entry-level deals with their respective teams.

If so, Casey‘s motivation to return to Michigan next season is likely low, heaving the way for him to sign an entry-level contract with the Devils. Especially given the fact that Casey doesn’t have much left to prove at the college level.

New Jersey has three games remaining in the 2023-24 regular season. Therefore, there is an opportunity to see Casey make his NHL debut.

Fellow prospect defenseman Ethan Edwards is in a similar boat, however, his return to Michigan is greater than Casey’s as he’s unlikely to crack an NHL lineup.

Casey Contract Options

Similar to his Michigan and Devils teammate, Luke Hughes, if Casey signs his entry-level deal that starts this season, he’ll burn the first year of his three-year contract.

You might be wondering about the “contract slide” rule that allows players to play up to nine NHL games without burning a year of their deal. However, the rule applies only to 18 and 19-year-old players stepping foot into the NHL, thus eliminating the 20-year-old Casey from the loophole.

Further, if Casey puts pen to paper on his entry-level contract, he is ineligible to join the Utica Comets for the regular season or a potential playoff run, signing after the March 8th NHL Trade Deadline.

There is one loophole for the Devils and Casey to preserve the first year of his NHL contract, however. Casey could sign a professional tryout (PTO) with the Comets for the remainder of this season. His entry-level deal could begin for the 2024-25 season instead, thus, giving the Devils three full years of Casey’s services on a rookie contract.

Despite having nothing to play for down the stretch, there’s a decent chance the Devils take the PTO route, especially with Hughes and Simon Nemec manning the blue line as rookies.

Montreal Canadiens prospect defenseman, Lane Hutson, is in the exact same situation as Casey.

With time running down on the Devils’ season, we’ll likely get clarity on Casey’s status sooner rather than later.

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