In just four days, the Devils will be playing their first game of the 2021-22 NHL season. There is excitement roster-wise as training camp ends. With this roster, however, there will be a lot of contributors who will undoubtedly make a significant impact this year. There are the new guys who are hoping to become major vital pieces for the Devils’ future. There are also 2nd-year players and more who are coming back to continue to impress around the league. No matter the case, there are going to be players who will rank high above others. But which Devils players will produce the most points of the 2021-22 season?
Jack Hughes– 64 points
Saying Jack Hughes had a great year last year was a bit of an understatement. Jack certainly had a jump last year when it came to development. While he may not have turned into a league-changing player last year, he was able to make himself an important asset. Hughes skating has allowed him to control where he wants to play the puck on a pass or shot. The way that Hughes improved over last year and his first year is incredible. What’s impressive is that Hughes may get better with each season moving forward. Even though he had 31 points last year, Hughes’s numbers could jump this year to 64.
While 70 points may be a big jump, it’s certainly possible the way Hughes has been playing so far. It would undoubtedly help Hughes considering the roster change during the offseason. Hughes certainly has a lot of players who can help him reach that total. Jesper Bratt and Yegor Sharangovich are great examples, considering how many points they got together last year. But Dougie Hamilton is another player who can help Hughes gain a lot of points. Hamilton has played with a lot of great players in his past. Now that Dougie is here in New Jersey, he can help guide guys like Hughes and other young players into having tremendous point seasons.
Yegor Sharangovich– 65 points
Sharangovich last year had perhaps one of the best rookies seasons the Devils had in quite some time. Sarangovich was able to impress by using his sniping abilities along with his speed. Scoring 30 points in 54 games is excellent, especially by a rookie. After the season, Yegor played on team Belarus during the 2021 IIHF World Championships. Even though that Belarus team did not play well, Sharangovich could find a way to contribute points. While Yegor only scored 3 points on that team, he was tied for the best overall player that year.
My answer to this question for Yegor is yes, and here’s why that is. In the 2021-22 preseason, Yegor had 3 points total in 2 of his games. What’s important, though, is to keep up the same skill he had during that year? If Yegor can continue to be consistent with his skills, scoring 65 points should be no problem for him. But who would be on a line to help him gain all those points? Looking at last year’s point totals, Yegor got many goals, thanks to guys like Damon Severson and Janne Kuokkanen. Damon is probably going to begin the season on I.R. For alternatives, Yegor can rely on guys like P.K. Subban and even Hamilton to help him set up for points. Jack Hughes is another good assist man as well. There are plenty of options so that it may be an exciting year for Yegor Sharangovich.
Dawson Mercer – 45 points
The Devils, like other NHL teams, released their starting roster on Monday. On that roster is the new rookie Dawson Mercer. Mercer, the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, is set to make his NHL debut on Friday. Mercer last year played in the QMJHL with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Mercer had a 36-point year with 19 points and 17 assists. When he went to play for the Under 20 World Junior Championships, he averaged 6 points in 7 games for Team Canada. When Mercer came to get a spot during the 2021-22 preseason for the Devils, Mercer impressed everyone with his skills. In all three games he played, Mercer scored two goals and had one assist. The reason he got on the roster was due to how he played.
When Mercer is on the ice each game, his skating is what makes him stand out. Mercer’s ability to make smooth strides to set himself up for a chance is what makes him unique. He is also a speedy guy on top of it; as he uses, he speeds to create goals. During that preseason, Mercer usually got paired with Alexander Holtz, and the two played amazingly together. Unfortunately, for Holtz, despite playing well, he was cut and sent down to the AHL. However, there are a lot of other wings on the team that can help get Mercer a fantastic year. There are the regular guys like Jesper Bratt and Miles Wood, who have been both skating well. New guys like Tomas Tatar and new signing Jimmy Vesey have had NHL experience working with rookies before. It will be entertaining to see how Mercer begins his NHL career, whichever line Mercer is working on or who is on his line.
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