Damon Severson joining Blue Jackets after sign-and-trade with Devils

The Columbus Blue Jackets have added another impact defenseman in a sign-and-trade with the New Jersey Devils.

The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to shake up the NHL this spring, as defenseman Damon Severson is on his way to Columbus via a sign-and-trade with the New Jersey Devils in the latest big move for the franchise.

Severson's new contract is for eight years and comes with a $6.25 million average annual value. The Devils are receiving a 2023 third-round pick from Columbus for their work in facilitating the deal.

The Saskatchewan native is coming off another strong season for the Devils in 2022-23, registering seven goals and 26 assists with a plus-9 rating. He skated an average of 19:57 per night, which was his lowest number since 2017-18.

The 28-year-old just finished the final season of a six-year, $25-million contract he signed with New Jersey in 2017. The 2012 second-round pick was set to be one of the top free agents available on this summer's market.

"Damon is a versatile defenseman who has great vision, moves the puck extremely well, has good size and can play heavy minutes at both ends of the ice," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a press release. "We are excited to have him join the Blue Jackets as he will be a very important part of our blue line for many years to come."

Damon Severson is on his way to the Blue Jackets through a sign-and-trade with the Devils. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Damon Severson is on his way to the Blue Jackets through a sign-and-trade with the Devils. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

The Severson move comes on the heels of the Blue Jackets acquiring fellow defenseman Ivan Provorov from the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday in a three-team blockbuster. Columbus also made headlines last week when it was reported the club intends to hire the controversial Mike Babcock as its next head coach.

Whether or not the Blue Jackets are justified in making these win-now moves is debatable considering they finished the 2022-23 campaign with by far the lowest point total in the Eastern Conference (59). Columbus still has work to do to return to playoff contention, but the core is starting to take shape with Severson and Provorov joining Zach Werenski on the blue line in addition to stars Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine up front.

The Blue Jackets will also be adding a high-impact player at this month's draft, where they hold the third-overall pick. The team is already equipped with one of the better prospect pools in the NHL.