Swedish ice hockey winger Jesper Bratt won’t be traded as he has received a qualifying offer from the New Jersey Devils, general manager Tom Fitzgerald said on Wednesday. Notably, the 23-year-old left wing can become a restricted free agent on July 13.
The Stockholm native Bratt set the National Hockey League (NHL) career highs in goals (26), assists (47), points (73) and power-play points (18) in 76 games this season, completing his fifth the tournament. He led the Devils in points, assists and power-play points, and tied youngster Jack Hughes for the team lead in goals.
“We’ve talked to Jesper and made him an offer, an offer that shows the commitment that (Devils co-managing partners) David Blitzer and Josh Harris have in this young gentleman for very good reasons,” Fitzgerald said on the eve of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft. “He’s a really good hockey player that makes our team better.”
“Want Jesper Bratt to be a Devil for long time”
Fitzgerald, however, did not reveal the amount of the most recent offer to Bratt, who signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract (average annual value of $2.75 million) with New Jersey on January 10, 2021. He went on to mention that the Devils have never had an interest in trading Bratt.
“We don’t make the offers we’ve made with the intention of not having the player, and we want to build with Jesper,” Fitzgerald said. “Last time we negotiated (with Bratt), were they smooth? No. But not all negotiations are. At the end of the day, we want Jesper Bratt to be a New Jersey Devil for a long time.”
“That’s something that we’ll keep internal,” he said. “We felt very comfortable where we were with the offer and the reasons why. But that’s about all I can talk about.”