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Could Sam Bennett be the missing piece for the Devils? See why NJ might target the Panthers forward this offseason.

The New Jersey Devils had a disappointing season, but the future looks bright for this young and talented squad. However, to take that next step and become a serious playoff contender, they may need some added depth and grit. That’s where Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett might fit in.

James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now believes the Devils could be a prime landing spot for Bennett this offseason.

3 Reasons the New Jersey Devils Should Target Sam Bennett

1. Bennett brings the scoring touch

While primarily known for his physicality, Bennett is no slouch offensively. He’s scored 20 or more goals twice in his career and hit a career-high 28 goals in the 2021-22 season. The Devils lack consistent secondary scoring – Bennett could be a key part of the solution.

2. Grit and physicality

Bennett plays with an edge that can be infectious. Having him in the lineup would add a different dimension to the Devils’ style, potentially making them a more difficult matchup in the playoffs. His tenacity and willingness to mix it up would be a welcome addition.

3. The Panthers’ cap crunch

The Panthers have a looming financial decision regarding Sam Reinhart’s impending unrestricted free agency. Reinhart is likely expecting a raise in the $9-$10 million range. Bennett, with one year left on a reasonable contract, may become a cap-saving casualty if Florida focuses on keeping Reinhart.

Potential Trade Scenario

Given the Panthers’ cap situation and the Devils’ need for Bennett’s skillset, this trade could work for both teams. New Jersey may need to include a promising prospect or high draft pick to entice the Panthers, but the overall package is unlikely to be overly expensive.

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