Devils agree to 8-year contract extension with Timo Meier

The Devils are keeping Timo Meier around for the long haul after acquiring him from the Sharks at the NHL trade deadline.

The New Jersey Devils ponied up to acquire Timo Meier at the trade deadline, and they've decided to keep him around for the long haul.

Meier agreed to an eight-year extension with the Devils that carries an average annual value of $8.8 million, the team announced on Wednesday. The deal is worth a total of $70,400,000.

Meier hit the 40-goal mark for the first time in 2022-23 and added 26 assists while appearing in 78 games split between the Devils and San Jose Sharks.

The Devils added Timo Meier at the trade deadline and are keeping him around for the long haul. (Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Devils added Timo Meier at the trade deadline and are keeping him around for the long haul. (Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images)

Meier, 26, is one of the best power forwards in the NHL and is now a staple of the Devils’ young and loaded core that also includes Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt. Meier finished 2022-23 second to Auston Matthews in individual expected goals at 5-on-5, per Natural Stat Trick, and he’s one of the few players that can excel in any environment.

The moribund Sharks controlled 57.84 of the expected goals at 5-on-5 when Meier was on the ice prior to being traded, while the Devils controlled 60 percent.

"We were excited to acquire Timo at the deadline, but it's an even greater feeling knowing that he'll be here for the next eight seasons," Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said in a press release. "Timo's unique blend of style of play, goal-scoring ability, and physical presence will prove valuable for us.

"In talking with him, Timo realized, and I always believed, that this is the right place for him as a player and a person. We've locked up another piece of our young core that is looking to take that next step together for greater success."

New Jersey has been arguably the most aggressive team in the league so far this summer, signing Bratt and Meier to long-term extensions, while being a leading candidate for a trade involving star Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. Armed with a nearly unmatched pool of prospects and under-26 talent, the Devils are leveraging their two-timeline strategy into a star-studded roster capable of winning now.

If the Eastern Conference was thought to be an arms race this season, Meier’s re-signing clearly positions the Devils with as many weapons as any team in the league. Teams were wary of Meier’s expiring contract status at the trade deadline, acknowledging his ability as a top-end offensive talent that drives play regardless of his linemates, but thought it would be nearly impossible to retain him.

This is excellent work by Fitzgerald, prioritizing his internal candidates while the league sorts through a weak free agency class.