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The New Jersey Devils need more scoring help.
It was an issue in 2017-18 during their surprising run to the playoffs, which ended abruptly largely due to a lack of offensive depth, and even more so in 2018-19.
Injuries played a part in that, and drafting Jack Hughes will help, but they still need more.
Though they'll probably only add and/or exchange a couple forwards this off-season, many external targets will garner consideration.
Among them, likely, is Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning are heading for a cap crunch and their rumored interest in chasing Erik Karlsson as a free agent will only complicate matters.
They're going to have to move multiple non-vital/core players carrying healthy salaries. Johnson meets the criteria.
Johnson, 28, is under contract for five more years and carries an AAV of $5 million.
Though his best days are behind him – I very much doubt he'll replicate his 2013-14 output of (playoffs included) 95 points in 103 games – he is still a solid player and would provide some much needed offensive pop.
Over the last two seasons, Johnson has averaged 1.07 goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 play. That ties him with Brad Marchand for 23rd in the NHL. Not bad!
During that same period of time, Johnson sits 108th (high-end 2nd line rate) averaging 1.86 points per 60. That's more than notables like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Rickard Rakell, Mikael Granlund, and Patrik Laine.
Johnson would almost certainly play right wing but his versatility is a plus. His high-end speed also makes him a natural fit for the way John Hynes and co. want the team to play.
Would he be the perfect addition? No. He is a liability defensively, and the remaining term on his contract could make for an uneasy year or two.
With that said, he would help address arguably the team's biggest need (more goal scoring) and he could come at a discounted price due to Tampa Bay's financial situation.
Johnson might not be the No. 1 target but he should be on Ray Shero's radar.
Numbers via CapFriendly.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.
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