A day after Lou Lamoriello was introduced by the Maple Leafs as their new general manager, current Devils GM Ray Shero signed Adam Larsson to a six-year $25 million contract. The former 2011 fourth overall pick will make an average of $4.167 million through 2021. Here’s the full breakdown.
The 22-year old Larsson rebounded from a poor start that had him a healthy scratch under former Devils coach Pete DeBoer. Eventually, with Lamoriello stepping behind the bench with former assistants Scott Stevens and Adam Oates, Larsson’s role increased. Finally gaining full trust of the coaching staff, the Swede developed into a top four shutdown defenseman. Not only did his confidence grow defensively but he also improved offensively setting career highs in goals (3), assists (21) and points (24). The 24 points paced all Devils defensemen edging ex-Devil Marek Zidlicky (23) and Andy Greene (22).
It was a no-brainer for the organization to get Larsson locked up. The 2011 first round pick started to fulfill his potential. A integral part of a revamped blueline featuring elder statesman Greene, Larsson headlines a young core that includes Damon Severson, Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and former Ranger John Moore. Aside from Greene who’s 32, the rest of the projected starting lineup on the back end are all 24 and younger.
With the rebuilding club also featuring number one goalie Cory Schneider, new coach John Hynes will look towards a young nucleus on D to help turn the franchise around. Larsson should be a staple who will become a team leader.
Devils tab Fitzgerald Assistant GM: In other team news, the Devils announced the hiring of Tom Fitzgerald as assistant GM. Part of Shero’s staff in Pittsburgh, he’ll serve in the same role he had under the Penguins this past season.
“Tom Fitzgerald has extensive experience as both a player and now in hockey operations, having served in several significant roles over the past eight seasons,” said Shero. “He is well-respected throughout the league, and I feel that he is an ideal fit for our team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Pittsburgh Penguins for their cooperation in allowing Tom to join our organization.”