Evaluation Post Trade Deadline
Post-NHL trade deadline, the New Jersey Devils were looking to fight off a playoff-bound New York Rangers at The Prudential Center. The way the current core of Devils players were searching for ways to beat Igor Shesterkin.
The Devils didn’t look like they were holding onto the puck management as they should have after giving up two goals in the first period. But this team in New Jersey wasn’t going to step aside and let the Rangers dictate the pace of this game.
The New Jersey Devils came out in the 2nd period determined to make a statement with veterans like Ryan Graves, P.K. Subban, Tomas Tatar leading the way. Dawson Mercer had a beautiful soft snap goal where he was playing high danger hockey near the goalie crease.
The Belarusian sniper, Yegor Sharangovich took one home a little while after the Devils PPG became waived off from Toronto’s War Room. Sharangovich’s goal was crucial in this game for insurance.
Closing Out The Game
In the last period of the game, the New Jersey Devils were gunning for that power-play goal. The young man that Tom Fitzgerald said about signing to a long-term deal, “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” Jack Hughes became a man on a mission and reached the 20 Goal plateau and his 100th career point off Igor Shesterkin. The hockey gods couldn’t have written this chapter in Jack’s career any better than hitting a major milestone at home in The Garden State at The Prudential Center.
Growing Pre-Prime Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes was not going to take his foot off the gas pedal. Hughes ended up getting his 21st on Alexander Georgiev in replacement for Igor Shesterkin in the net. Jack is currently 24th in points amongst his peers at the center position at the NHL level. Jack is on 1.14 points per game pace and is only 20 years of age and not old enough to have a beer yet in New Jersey.
He has so many great pieces around him on this team, having seen guys like Tatar and Dougie Hamilton providing that support system now that going into next season this young Devils team is featured on The Hockey News’ latest edition.
The way Jack carries himself humbly most of the time also a serious competitor can be more of an oxymoron. The reason for the oxymoron is he is naturally cocky with the swagger Jack cuts opponents like a dagger against a playoff-bound Rangers team.
101 points in 160 games Jack Hughes is on the law of average is 0.63 points per game player. However, this Devils center has risen by 0.51 points above the career points per game benchmark. If Jack Hughes was an individual stock the recommendation would be a long-term buy for anyone doing future fantasy hockey owners.
Near Term Perspective
Once GM, Tom Fitzgerald finally addresses the goaltending situation, hopefully before the 2022-23 season, if everything goes according to plan this team could be seen with more dividends getting closer to the wild card spot and being a tough out each game.
Even without P.K. Subban who is unlikely to return for the 2022-23 season. It is safe to say that the Right-Handed core of Dougie Hamilton, Damon Severson, and it is likely that Reilly Walsh will eventually win his way into the lines as an offensive defenseman similar to Brian Rafalski.
Goaltending wise if Nico Daws can prove next season after finishing up in New Jersey and Utica in the AHL (Comets playoff run). It will help him gain more confidence and playoff experience that will keep him hungry to go between the pipes for The Devils next season.
Andrew Hammond will likely be a 3rd string goalie by the time Tom Fitzgerald makes that crucial piece move adding a veteran or solidly proven goalie in the net. It will be a huge step from neutral to first gear that will move the Devils back on the right path to pushing for a playoff spot in 2022-23. Devils fans want to see Fitzgerald reinvesting more players that can help compete night in and night out and play with that chip on their shoulders.
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