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New Jersey Devils Eyeing Jake DeBrusk

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Statistical Report

With Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk recently asking for a trade, an anonymous source informed me on the matter about the fact it is true DeBrusk wants out. Last year the New Jersey Devils were mentioned as suitors for Jake DeBrusk during the COVID-19 shortened campaign. One of the things that the Devils would benefit from in Jake DeBrusk is his physical play, his history of power-play success and the New Jersey Devils need that. He’s a career 53.3% Corsi For meaning he’s a good puck carrier along with 62.3% Offensive Zone Start percentage meaning he’s really good in the offensive and defensive zone.

The problem is since last season DeBrusk’s time on ice has dropped to 611 from 1043 which likely has to do with the recent acquisition of Taylor Hall and the Bruins’ key moves and coaching decisions. In the thick of things when DeBrusk plays north of 1000 minutes of ice time he can score near 21 goals and 40 points on the law of averages. Jake is the kind of guy that will block shots, hit the body, getting more takeaways over giveaways.

Realigning The Lineup

Having a lot of centers in the New Jersey Devils lineup is a good problem to have and this trade candidate would help make it easier for Tom Fitzgerald to reshuffle the roster. This would be meaning Lindy Ruff will have to have Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, Yegor Sharangovich, and Nathan Bastian as centers so that way everyone else on the wings can fill in at different slots. But this would allow the Johnsson, Mercer, Bratt line to stay intact while the 3 others to reshuffle.

Per Darren Dreger on Insider Trading, “I expect Fitzgerald will check in with Don Sweeney in Boston about Jake DeBrusk, but again that contract given the qualifying offer may not be the right fit for the NJDevils, but that player is definitely a player of interest.”

To break this down P.K. Subban’s contract ends and the Devils will have around 17 million to reinvest, while Tom Fitzgerald looks to add more of an edge while improving the power play. Another thing the New Jersey Devils under Tom Fitzgerald should also do is replace Mark Recchi. Last season and this season the power play has been very abysmal. With Jack Hughes back in the lineup, he needs to be at center his natural position and allow him to take over the flow of the game. If Recchi wants to really help this young and growing Devils offense to froth and become something really good he has to extract everything properly.

Let’s Make A Deal?

DeBrusk would bring the 25 and older age demographic that fits into Tom Fitzgerald’s age group. The only question should be “what is the cost basis of trying to acquire Jake DeBrusk?” Just beginning to bank off the idea that due to his lack of time on ice and the lack of production he’s not worth a first or second rounder in theory. The Devils have plenty of picks and players to dangle to try and get negotiations started. The trade deal can be made by March 21st at 3 pm at the latest.

The only downside will be how many suitors will be in on Jake DeBrusk and will the cost basis for DeBrusk be low enough or even too high for a deal to be made. The New Jersey Devils have room for improvement especially with the past few games versus Nashville, and Minnesota falling short of getting 1 of 2 points in those games. But a player with DeBrusk’s playstyle can help add the grit and more well-rounded efforts that can help get this Devils’ growing core a spark plug they need in their lineup.

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Former writer for Pucks and Pitchforks and The Puck Authority. I cover New Jersey Devils hockey and NHL Draft prospects. I have a podcast called Heads Up Hockey on Anchor.fm Also I write for Full Press Hockey.