With the first 82 game regular season underway for the New Jersey Devils. Both Devils writers Joseph Stanislau and Luke Garrison will compare and contrast possible productivity numbers for key active Devils players for the 2021-22 season. Will this lead to the success that Devils fans have been waiting for? There are a few key questions that we also have about key divisional opponents as the 82 game season carries onward.
|Jesper Bratt 13 G 62 pt||Jesper Bratt: 15 G 55 pt|
|Nico Hischier 23G 49pt||Nico Hischier: 20 G 52 pt|
|Jack Hughes 16G 73pt||Jack Hughes: 22 G 64pt|
|Andreas Johnsson 8G 30pt||Andreas Johnsson: 9 g 25pt|
|Janne Kuokkanen 13G 52 pt||Janne Kuokkanen: 15G 54 pts|
|Michael McLeod 14G 37pt||Michael McLeod: 16g 39pt|
|Yegor Sharangovich 34g 64pt||Yegor Sharangovich 36g 65pt|
|Dawson Mercer 20G 38 pt||Dawson Mercer: 25g 45pts|
|Marian Studenic 10G 21 pt||Marian Studenic: 9g 23pt|
|Tomas Tatar 16G 57pt||Tomas Tatar: 18g 61pt|
|Pavel Zacha 28G 67pt||Pavel Zacha: 26g 63 pt|
|P.K. Subban 9G 35pt||P.K. Subban: 8g 30pt|
|Dougie Hamilton 15G 73pt||Dougie Hamilton: 17g 75pt|
|Mackenzie Blackwood 32 W 21L OTL 7 55GP||Mackenzie Blackwood: 30W 19L 5OTL|
|Jonathan Bernier 15 W 7L 5OTL. 27GP||Jonathan Bernier: 13W 6L 9OTL 28GP|
Agreements and Differences Between on Player Points
The Joe Model mainly uses the average points per game, halves the number of takeaways, converting them to points, and reallocating them. The one exception for more goals was Yegor Sharangovich’s case because he is an accurate sniper. Goalie records are based on last year’s numbers for Bernier and Blackwood. Blackwood, at most, has plateaued around 55 games played.
While Luke may not have used an advanced approach like Joe, we have found very similar things in our projections. For one, we both believe that Yegor Sharangovich will have a fantastic breakout year. Because of what we both saw last year from him, we think he can become one of the best players on the team. We both also agreed that Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier would win an almost similar amount of games. Blackwood and Bernier could provide a great tandem if New Jersey Devils’ goalie coach Dave Rogalski can make them into NHL-level goalies.
But there are many differences we made. While Joe thinks that Jack can have a 73 point year, I believe Hughes needs a little more time until he gets to that threshold. I agree that Dawson Mercer will have a much better overall season because he looked in the preseason. Mercer played so well because of how much he could fight for every possession and goal he could get. So I believe he will have a 45 point year over Joe’s 38 point season.
Where Do We Predict The Devils Will End Up After the Season
While Joe Stanislau projected that the New Jersey Devils would have a big year in the 2021-22 season barring any injuries, moves, and acquisitions due to COVID 19, this is what I forecast. The New Jersey Devils will remain in the top eight Eastern Conference and clinch a playoff berth. There are also a lot of young players in Utica (AHL) that can get called up at a moment’s notice that can propel the Devils and Lindy Ruff’s coaching staff in the right direction. Players like Mackenzie Blackwood and Dougie Hamilton will be critical pieces to the Devil’s pivotal moments of success.
For my (Luke) predictions, I will agree with Joe and say we will make the playoffs this year. It’s undoubtedly a challenging task, but this roster has a lot of players who can make a significant mark in the NHL. Because the Devils are one of the youngest teams in the league, they will have a lot of speed, skill, talent, physicality, grit, and determination. Being this young is undoubtedly an asset for the Devils, considering the Metropolitan is getting older. But some questions still need answering during the season. How good are the special teams this year? Can the Devils survive the season without getting any COVID 19 cases? Will Jonathan Bernier rebound after his disastrous season in Detroit? If all these questions get answered and make the Devils a better team, then see no problem making the playoffs.
With the offseason acquisitions, Luke and I have agreed that teams like the Carolina Hurricanes losing a key piece like Dougie Hamilton to New Jersey via free agency will further set Carolina back defensively. Since the Hurricanes acquired Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta in the net, this could be a net loss for Carolina swapping spots with New Jersey fourth in the Metropolitan Division. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting without Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby and their subpar pipeline in the post-Ray Shero, now Ron Hextall era. The Penguins will be the second team to falter during this 82 game season, including possible outcomes with COVID 19 and player quarantine protocols.
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