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Slow Progress in Jesper Bratt's Contract Talks Spark Trade Rumors

Jesper Bratt is in line for a significant pay raise on his next contract. However, there's been a ton of speculation as to whether his next deal will be with the Devils or not.
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Coming off a career-best 73-point performance, Jesper Bratt is in line for a significant pay raise on his next contract. However, a lack of progress in negotiations with the New Jersey Devils has made the 23-year-old winger the subject of recent trade speculation.

Cap Friendly shows Bratt is finishing a two-year contract with an annual average value of $2.75 million. He's a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights.

Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli included Bratt on his list of this summer's top NHL trade targets, reporting there hadn't been any contract negotiations up to that point. While Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said Bratt was a big part of the club's future, Seravalli cited sources claiming the winger was available at last spring's trade deadline.

ESPN's Kevin Weekes also reported a lack of significant talks between the Bratt camp and the Devils. He confirmed several teams were interested in trading for the playmaking left winger.

However, NJ.com's Ryan Novozinsky tweeted out that Bratt's agent spoke to him a week earlier saying there had been multiple chats with the Devils regarding an extension. He added that the Devils confirmed talks were ongoing and could take time.

It wouldn't be surprising if several teams are monitoring Bratt's contract talks with an interest in acquiring him should those negotiations stall. As Seravalli observed, Fitzgerald has made it known he'd like to add an impact player to complement his young forwards.

Fitzgerald has indicated he's willing to move his first-round pick (second overall) in this year's draft for that impact player. Perhaps he'd consider doing the same with Bratt if those contract talks fail to progress.

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