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FEATURE: NHL Free Agency Breakdown

Take a look at the 2019 NHL free agency landscape and 10 players who Devils fans are interested in

by Amanda Stein amandacstein /

NEWARK, NJ - With NHL Free Agency on the horizon (Monday, July 1), we asked fans which free agents they might be interested in if they were at the helm of the New Jersey Devils. We took your answers and compiled a list, breaking down some of your most asked about players!

Tweet from @amandacstein: Free Agent Frenzy just a couple days away! Who do you have your heart set on, #NJDevils fans? What are you looking for come Monday?

It's always fun to play General Manager from your couch, so here's a look at 10 of the many available UFAs.

Anders Lee

2018-19 NHL Team: New York Islanders
Age: 27
Born: Edina, MN
Position: LW
Height: 6'3
Weight: 231lbs
Shoots: L

A veteran of 425 NHL regular season games, Lee captained the New York Islanders during the 2018-19 NHL season, amassing 28 goals and 23 assists in 82 games. Lee plays a physical game with plenty of net-front presence and would be a great addition to any NHL power play. Last season, 15 of Lee's 51 points came on the man-advantage (10-5-15). Over the last three seasons Lee has scored at least 51 points, with a career-best 62 in 2017-18 when he reached a career-high 40 goals. 

Mats Zuccarello

2018-19 NHL Team: New York Rangers/Dallas Stars
Age: 31
Born: Oslo, Norway
Position: RW
Height: 5'7
Weight: 179lbs
Shoots: L

Zuccarello spent the first eight and a half years of his career with the New York Rangers, before he was traded to the Dallas Stars at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline. Zuccarello reached a career-high 61 points in the 2015-16 season and is small but speedy. The crafty forward would be a great addition to any team looking for secondary scoring, with Zuccarello adding between 15-20 goals a season on a regular basis over the course of his career. 

Zuccarello's start with the Stars didn't go quite as planned, breaking his arm in his first game with Dallas, before returning for the playoffs where he scored 11 points in 13 games (four goals, seven assists). 

Joonas Donskoi

2018-19 NHL Team: San Jose Sharks
Age: 27
Born: Raahe, Finland
Position: LW/RW
Height: 6'0
Weight: 190lbs
Shoots: R

The Finnish forward has spent his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, despite being drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round in 2010. Donskoi tied a career-high during the 2018-19 NHL season with 14 goals in 80 games and had a career-best 37-point season. Donskoi has carved out a role for himself with the Sharks as a reliable bottom-six forward and has a knack for drawing penalties. 

Gustav Nyquist

2018-19 NHL Team: Detroit Red Wings/San Jose Sharks
Age: 29
Born: Halmstad, Sweden
Position: RW/LW
Height: 5'11
Weight: 183lbs
Shoots: L 

Fresh off a career-high 60-point NHL season and another 11-point run in the post-season for San Jose, Nyquist has played 500 NHL games, with all but 19 played with the Detroit Red Wings - the team that selected him in the 2008 NHL Draft. 

Nyquist was a serviceable player for the Sharks when he was traded in February, with 11 points in 19 regular season games and another 11 points in 20 post-season appearances. In his prior five seasons, Nyquist averaged close to 45 points per season. 

Ryan Dzingel

2018-19 NHL Team: Ottawa Senators/Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 27
Born: Wheaton, IL
Position: LW/RW
Height: 6'0
Weight: 187lbs
Shoots: L 

Things were rather difficult for Dzingel when he was traded from Ottawa to Columbus at the NHL Trade Deadline in February. Expected to add depth to the Blue Jackets lineup, the 27-year-old struggled to find his groove with his new team after posting 22 goals and 44 points in 57 games for Ottawa. While with Columbus, he recorded just 12 points in 21 games and saw limited power-play time, becoming a healthy scratch. 

Dzingel could fit well on an NHL third line, particularly on a team looking to add more depth in the scoring department. Despite his struggles with the Blue Jackets, he is still coming off a career best 56-point season.  

Brian Boyle

2018-19 NHL Team: New Jersey Devils/Nashville Predators
Age: 34
Born: Hingham, MA
Position: C/LW
Height: 6'6
Weight: 245lbs

Devils fans are certainly familiar with what Brian Boyle can bring to a team, both on the ice and the intangibles off it as well. Boyle becomes a free agent after his trade from New Jersey to Nashville in February and is an overwhelming answer when I asked Devils fans who they had in their sights on the free-agent market, he certainly endeared himself to the New Jersey fanbase. Boyle spent a year and a half in New Jersey with the Devils, impacting the team both on and off the ice. Boyle has proven he can contribute roughly 20 points a season, a mark he has reached for the past five years. At 34, Boyle can certainly inject veteran presence into any NHL locker room and is a highly respected player league-wide. 

Brett Connolly

2018-19 NHL Team: Washington Capitals
Age: 27
Born: Campbell River, British Columbia
Position: RW/LW
Height: 6'3
Weight: 194lbs 
Shoots: R

Connolly was part of the 2018 Stanley Cup winning Washington Capitals squad two years ago and assisted on the Cup-winning goal against the Vegas Golden Knights. The 2018-19 NHL season was the best of his career so far with 22 goals and 24 assists in 81 games for the Caps. Connolly can slip into a second or third line right-wing on a team that is also looking for some veteran leadership. Connolly bounced around from Tampa Bay to Boston and then to Washington before finding some continuity in his game. He looks like he's a victim of the salary cap era with the Capitals and their loss could be other teams gain especially 5-on-5. Connolly's 21 of 22 goals came at even strength this past season. 

Wayne Simmonds

2018-19 NHL Team: Philadelphia Flyers/Nashville Predators
Age: 30
Born: Scarborough, Ontario 
Position: RW
Height: 6'2
Weight: 185lbs
Shoots: R

There's a familiar name for New Jersey Devils fans. Simmonds played the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers after making his NHL debut with the L.A. Kings, where he spent three seasons. Simmonds is coming off a sub-par year, given his standards and what he provided for the Flyers years prior. He had just one goal and two assists in 17 games after he was traded to the Nashville Predators from Philadelphia at the trade deadline. Simmonds turns 31 this summer, has been a force in front of the net in the earlier stages of his career, which has been hampered by injuries as of late, but there's no doubt that his physical play and big frame can be a desired asset for a team looking to get bigger and stronger. Simmonds, while on a decline as of late, can be a physical forward for a team in need. 

Micheal Ferland

2018-19 NHL Team: Carolina Hurricanes
Age: 27
Born: Swan River, MB
Position: LW/RW
Height: 6'1
Weight: 216lbs
Shoots: L

In search of a third-line center? Ferland may be a hot commodity. Ferland has a knack for producing some offense, despite playing in a bottom-six role with bottom-six minutes. The 27-year-old finished with a career best 40 points in the 2018-19 season with the Carolina Hurricanes and plays a rough and tumble kind of game as well. Ferland suffered through some injuries this past season, but he's still a player that's hitting his prime and could be an asset to any lineup. 

Derick Brassard

2018-19 NHL Team: Pittsburgh Penguins/Florida Panthers/Colorado Avalanche 

Age: 31
Born: Hull, QC
Position: Center
Height: 6'1
Weight: 203lbs
Shoots: L

Derick Brassard is a well-traveled player, used as a trade asset at several Trade Deadlines over the last couple of years. Brassard is often sought after to provide secondary scoring to compliment a team's big-guns, while also being able to slot into top line minutes where need-be. Brassard is a low-risk, high-reward type player and might benefit from another change of scenery and a bit of stability. 2018-19 was Brassard's least productive full-season, but he did spend time with three different NHL teams, traded twice, which may have hampered his numbers. 

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