Nico Hischier

NHL Notes: Devils sign No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier to max entry-level contract

NHL Notes: Devils sign No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier to max entry-level contract

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have signed No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier to the maximum three-year, entry-level contract for salary and performance bonuses.

The Devils said Saturday that Hischier will have an average salary of $925,000.

The 18-year-old Swiss forward had 38 goals and 48 assists last season for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He's participating in the Devils' development camp this weekend.

Golden Knights: Reinhart, Leipsic, 3 1st-round picks signed
LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights have signed their three first-round draft picks along with defenseman Griffin Reinhart and forward Brendan Leipsic.

The NHL expansion club announced the moves Saturday.

Reinhart has 37 games of NHL experience with Edmonton and the New York Islanders, who drafted him with the fourth overall pick in 2012. Vegas signed him to a two-year, $1.6 million deal.

Leipsic appeared in his first six NHL games during the 2015-16 season with Toronto. He got a two-year, $1.3 million contract with the Golden Knights.

Vegas also signed forward Cody Glass, forward Nick Suzuki and defenseman Erik Brannstrom to three-year, entry-level contracts. Glass was the sixth overall pick last month, while Suzuki was 13th and Brannstrom went 15th.

NHL Notes: Lightning re-sign Ondrej Palat to 5-year, $26.5 million deal

NHL Notes: Lightning re-sign Ondrej Palat to 5-year, $26.5 million deal

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman completed his offseason to-do list by signing "model player" Ondrej Palat to a $26.5 million, five-year deal.

The Lightning and Palat avoided arbitration and settled on the contract Friday. The Czech left winger will count $5.3 million against the salary cap through the 2021-22 season.

The 26-year-old Palat had 17 goals and 35 assists in 75 games last season. He has 74 goals and 144 assists in 307 NHL games and is considered one of the better defensive wingers in hockey.

"His value is probably greater than if you just look at the goals and assists," Yzerman said by phone. "He's really a complete player. He plays in all situations for us, and he's very effective in all situations. Whether we're on the power play, killing a penalty, 5-on-5, we're up a goal, down a goal, late in the game it's tied -- he's going to be in in all those situations, and he plays really hard" (see full story).

Devils: Hischier not fazed by being No. 1 pick
NEWARK, N.J. -- At the end of the second of three practice sessions Friday at the New Jersey Devils' development camp, top overall pick Nico Hischier, was on his hands and knees, scooping up pucks, just like everyone else.

The novelty of being the No. 1 draft pick is rapidly wearing off for Hischier, thanks to the three-day developmental camp at the Barnabas Health Hockey House, the Devils' practice facility next to the Prudential Center.

"Right after the draft, I was living the life a little," said the 18-year-old Swiss player who had 38 goals and 48 assists last season for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "I was doing all these fun things, like going to a baseball game and a soccer game. I was in Times Square and was on television. But now, I'm here and I'm working hard on the ice."

Hischier doesn't want special treatment.

"I don't want to be known as the guy who didn't pick the pucks up," Hischier said. "I'm still one of the younger guys here. I want to fit in. I'm going to focus on that" (see full story).

Kings: Gravel avoids arbitration with 1-year deal
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings re-signed Kevin Gravel to a one-year, $650,000 contract extension Friday, avoiding arbitration with the restricted free agent defenseman.

The Kings also signed restricted free agents Justin Auger, Andrew Crescenzi, Zachary Leslie, Kurtis MacDermid and Michael Mersch.

Gravel broke through as an NHL regular last season, scoring seven points in 49 games while getting a steadily increasing role on the power play. He scored his first and only NHL goal Feb. 23 against Boston.

Gravel filed for arbitration earlier this month after receiving a qualifying offer from Los Angeles. He was the Kings' only remaining restricted free agent who logged significant time in the NHL last year.

Auger, Crescenzi, Leslie, MacDermid and Mersch are all regulars with the Kings' AHL affiliate in Ontario.

More NHL Notes: Devils draft Nico Hischier with No. 1 overall pick

More NHL Notes: Devils draft Nico Hischier with No. 1 overall pick

CHICAGO -- The New Jersey Devils have selected center Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft.

The 18-year-old Hischier is the highest drafted Swiss player in the NHL history. He had 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season. He spent the previous two seasons in the Swiss pro league, where he was coached by current Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher.

Hischier fits in nicely with general manager Ray Shero's desire to put a faster team on the ice. New Jersey is coming off its worst season in nearly three decades, finishing with a 28-40-14 record.

But Hischier is listed at 6-foot-2 and 179 pounds, and will need to put on more muscle to succeed in the NHL.

The draft is being held in Chicago for the first time (see full story).

Capitals: Oshie signs 8-year, $46 million extension
CHICAGO -- The Washington Capitals have re-signed right winger T.J. Oshie to a $46 million, eight-year contract.

Oshie will count $5.75 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season.

General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Friday just before the start of the NHL draft. Oshie was set to be an unrestricted free agent.

The 30-year-old forward tied Alex Ovechkin for the team lead with 33 goals last season. That was a career high, as he has 56 points despite playing only 68 games.

In 591 NHL games with St. Louis and Washington, Oshie has 169 goals and 248 assists for 417 points (see full story).

Blackhawks: Team continues overhaul with trade
CHICAGO -- General manager Stan Bowman promised changes were coming after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Boy, he wasn't kidding.

Chicago re-acquired Brandon Saad and parted with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin in a pair of surprising trades Friday, giving the Blackhawks a younger look and more cost certainty for their roster.

"This is a day of highs and lows," Bowman said. "There's some tougher conversations, but there's also, we're moving ahead, we're excited about what we have coming in."

The Blackhawks won the Central Division last season with a 50-23-9 record, finishing with the most points in the Western Conference. But they were swept by Nashville in the opening series, managing just three goals in 13 periods in an embarrassing performance for a team with three championships since 2010.

Bowman angrily called it a complete failure, and then overhauled coach Joel Quenneville's staff and replaced the coach of the team's top minor league affiliate.

Turns out he was just getting started.

Bowman traded forwards Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago's sixth-round selection in this weekend's NHL draft to Columbus for Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick next year. The deal was announced less than an hour after Hjalmarsson was traded to Arizona for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin (see full story).