The wait is over, and after only a week of the professional tryout, the New Jersey Devils have signed Damien Brunner. The details of the contract have yet to be released, but Brunner will be a Devil for at least this season.
Brunner spent last season in Detroit, playing along side of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk before finding his home on the third line with other NHL newcomers, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist. Brunner played well in Detroit, but was victim to streaky play.
Brunner has played in two preseason games with the Devils after beginning his tryout, and has two assists. Brunner is an asset that the Devils desperately need, after losing Ilya Kovalchuk over the summer, the Devils had to find scoring from somewhere, and with the lingering issues and age that Jaromir Jagr is experiancing, it’s clear he won’t be the answer this season to the Devils offensive issues.
Brunner skated in 44 games for the Wings last season and scored 12 goals, and added 14 assists along the way. He’s a threat on the powerplay, and has the ability to make explosive plays at any time in the game. His speed and puck skills are excellent, but at times, he gets a bit carried away being cute with the puck and often ends up leading to turn overs.
The Devils could end up with a bargain if the contract is at the right price, given the right amount of patience, and the right amount of ice time, Brunner can be a good player. He now has his chance to prove what he’s worth in the NHL during a full 82 game season.