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New Jersey Devils Recent Growth & Outlooks

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Key Offensive Output

The bulk of the New Jersey Devils’ recent successes is deeply in part to the improved penalty kill, and their power play unit is beginning to click efficiently. As the New Jersey Devils added Slovak winger Tomas Tatar over the offseason. Tatar has 3 goals and 5 points in the past 5 games that the Ilava, Slovakia native has strung together as one of the key veterans on this very young New Jersey Devils roster that is growing and evolving around guys like him.

Jesper Bratt is playing very well in a contract season under General Manager, Tom Fitzgerald. To look at a potential big payday with the productivity he is having a great 6 point 5 assists pace at 5 games. He does resemble a young Tomas Tatar with his size and his physical build at his age. If Jesper Bratt can keep up at a 0.94 Points Per Game Pace (Points/GamesPaced) Jesper Bratt would be looking at a 77 point total by season’s end.

Jack Hughes has a point per game pace and could end up pocking that stats sheet radar gun at 82 points which have not been achieved since Taylor Hall’s 93 point season in 76 games played during the 2017-18 season for the Hart Trophy. I’m not trying to say this is likely but Jack Hughes whom Martin Brodeur called for on NHL Draft Day in 2019. Jack has been able to yield 3 goals and 12 points in 5 games played in recent games. Right now Jack is at 2.4 points average for the past 5 games proving to a lot of his critics he is capable of breaking his all-time high of 11 goals and 31 points.

In The Thick Of A Wild Card

As the New Jersey Devils keep the wild card race very tight like a drum currently this group of young skaters, and veterans look like they have finally found a foundation both on the power play and penalty kill. Guys like Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian are adding a lot of quality character traits that have that will and determination to play a 60+ minute game. Before the Devils got hot and things were in disarray there was a lack of killer instinct, and it seems that during the COVID pause holiday break they found a way to work well on the ice.

With this evolution process of a team in the works, it will be very interesting to see the next 5 versus Columbus again, Lightning, Islanders, Coyotes, and the Hurricanes. There are 10 points available for the taking and if the Devils take both games against the Isles, Columbus that’s 4 points to the standings, and a win versus Arizona is 6, maybe stealing a point or 2 from Carolina will be a huge springboard for this young team. Things were very problematic earlier in that last part of 2021 and these teams will realize that the Devils team now in 2022 is beginning to froth very well into a nice hot cappuccino many people will start to see as a very good product.

Positive Optimism

Currently, the Devils have the LA Kings, Stars, Lightning, Carolina, and Toronto as the next big assignment but it won’t come easy but anything can happen between any of these teams with COVID and injuries, etc.
If the New Jersey Devils can keep playing at the pace they are at and get into a wild card spot by March 21st then it is time for Tom Fitzgerald to start working the text messages, and racking up the cell phone calls to help add another veteran in the backup role, and making a move for another right defenseman with another sniper on the wings.

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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.