Dealing with the Devil(s)

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The entire New Jersey Devils management staff has been busy this offseason and for good reasons. Since the 2019 NHL entry draft, where the team selected Jack Hughes first overall, they have shaped their team into a young, fast and better all around team to hopefully battle for a playoff spot next season. We will go more in depth about the current team of the Devils after we discuss the future prospects of the team on their roster, and through their depth chart. 

Devils Prospect Pool

Forwards:

  • Jack Hughes, Age 18, Drafted first Overall in 2019
  • Graeme Clarke, Age 18, Drafted 80th Overall in 2019
  • Fabian Zetterlund, Age 19, Drafted 63rd Overall in 2017
  • Nico Hischier, Age 20, Drafted first Overall in 2017
  • Jesper Boqvist, Age 20, Drafted 36th Overall in 2017
  • Michael Mcleod, Age 21, Drafted 12th Overall in 2016
  • Nathan Bastian, Age 21, Drafted 41st Overall in 2016
  • Pavel Zacha, Age 22, Drafted 6th Overall in 2015

Defense:

  • Nikita Okhotyuk, Age 18, Drafted 61st Overall in 2019
  • Michael Vukojevic, Age 18, Drafted 82nd Overall in 2019
  • Ty Smith, Age 19, Drafted 17th Overall in 2018
  • Colton White, Age 22, Drafted 97th Overall in 2015

Goalies:

  • Brady Cole, Age 19, Drafted 127th Overall in 2019
  • Mackenzie Blackwood, Age 22, Drafted 42nd Overall in 2015

The Devils Future

The Devils have a bright future with a one-two punch of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier up front at center. Both of them add tremendous amounts of skill and speed to this Devils forward group that will be great for the future. Hischier is entering his third season as a member of the New Jersey Devils sitting on point number 99 through two years and is a restricted free agent (RFA) at the end of the 2019/20 season. 

The other prospects the Devils have coming up that could be the ones to watch include, Swedish forward Jesper Boqvist and Candian D-man Ty Smith. Both are highly looked at by the organization and have great upside for their NHL careers.

The Current Devils

The GM of the New Jersey Devils, Ray Shero probably had the best offseason out of the other 30 General managers in the NHL.  

All these transactions are definitely going to make and impact for next year and a massive applause is owed to Shero and his management staff. The trade for P.K Subban will make the whole defensive core even better for the Devils. They finished 26th in the NHL in Goals against and 21st in Power-play percentage; Subban will help a lot especially with his dynamic skating and his big slap shot from the blue line. He was injured for 19 games last year and recorded nine goals, 22 assists for 31 points which isn’t ideal for a 9 million dollar player but, motivation of a new home now will make Subban comfortable and play the way he’s used to playing.  

Transitioning now to the whole new Devils team for next year, things are looking good. On forward we have Taylor Hall, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev, Wayne Simmonds, Miles Wood, Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac and Jesper Bratt who are more or less locks to make the team out of camp. The Defenceand goaltenders  consists of PK. Subban, Damon Severson, Sami Vatanen, Andy Greene, Will Butcher, Connor Carrick, Mirco Mueller, Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood. The forward group the Devils have now looks really good and much improved from years past. The power-play will have many new looks with the Subban point shot, Simmonds net front presence, Hughes’ vision to feed the puck from either half board and Gusev’s lethal shot from the left side. The Devils have a good chance at making the playoffs if they stay healthy and score goals but the goaltending is a question mark still. Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood will have to play just above league average this year for the Devils to be in the hunt because this forward group is just to damn good not to be playing playoff hockey. 

It won’t be a disappointment if they do miss out but, it will be yet another one for Devils forwards Taylor Hall as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) after next year. Making the playoffs could help in contract negotiations for Hall because it will make him see that this team is going to be good and is ready to take the step sooner rather than later. Hall recorded 11 goals, 26 assists for 37 points in just 33 games played last year and if he does play all year long healthy, what kind of money could the Calgary native pick up? 

This team will need Hall to MVP Hall next season for them to take that step towards success. The Devils are going to be exciting, let’s hope we see that to the fullest next year. 

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