The Columbus Blue Jackets have made a significant move to bolster their defense by acquiring defenseman Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils in a sign-and-trade deal. Severson’s new contract spans eight years with an average annual value of $6.25 million. The Devils will receive a 2023 third-round pick from the Blue Jackets as part of the trade.

The Blue Jackets’ recent defensive reinforcements include acquiring Ivan Provorov from the Philadelphia Flyers. This marks the second consecutive offseason where the Blue Jackets have made notable signings, with Severson following last year’s signing of Johnny Gaudreau. The team aims to strengthen their defense, which has faced challenges recently.

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The Blue Jackets’ defensive lineup is taking shape with Zach Werenski, Provorov, and Severson expected to form the top pairings. Young defensemen Adam Boqvist and David Jiricek, along with Erik Gudbranson, Jake Bean, Nick Blankenburg, and Andrew Peeke, are also likely to contribute.

The trade allows the Devils to avoid losing Severson for nothing in free agency. With Dougie Hamilton as their top right-side defenseman and the emergence of John Marino, retaining Severson would have made him an overpaid third-pair option. The Devils can now rely on promising young defensemen Luke Hughes and Šimon Nemec as potential replacements.

Severson, who spent nine seasons with the Devils, brings experience and skill to the Blue Jackets’ defense. He recorded 33 points in 71 games during the 2022-23 season.

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Overall, the trade signifies the Blue Jackets’ commitment to strengthening their defense and the Devils’ ability to gain value from Severson’s departure. Both teams look to solidify their rosters and rebuild their competitive edge.