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Season Preview: New Jersey Devils

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Conference: Eastern

Division: Metropolitan



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Offseason



Additions: Ondrej Palat, Erik Haula, Vitek Vanecek, John Marino, Simon Nemec

Subtractions: P.K. Subban, Pavel Zacha, Ty Smith, Janne Kuokkanen, Jimmy Vesey, Jon Gillies, Colton White


The Devils are looking to take a step forward this season, and this was made even clearer by the moves made this offseason. Palat comes in to immediately improve the top-six, and Vanecek will challenge for the majority of starts in net this season.


New Jersey also swapped out Zacha and Smith for Haula and Marino, which, by our measure, were both nice upgrades.


It should also be noted that 2nd overall selection Simon Nemec has a chance to make the team out of training camp, although he joins a crowded right side of the defense with Marino, Dougie Hamilton, and Damon Severson.


 


Injury Report



Probable For Opener: -None-

Questionable For Opener: -None-

Out To Begin Season: Jonathan Bernier (Hip)

Out For Season: -None-


Besides the uncertain status of goaltender Jonathan Bernier, the New Jersey Devils expect to be fully healthy come the start of the season.


 

Projected Lineup

(league ranks in parentheses)



Forwards (23rd)

Ondrej Palat - Jack Hughes - Jesper Bratt

Yegor Sharangovich - Nico Hischier - Tomas Tatar

Andreas Johnsson - Erik Haula - Dawson Mercer

Miles Wood - Michael McLeod - Nathan Bastian


Defense (23rd)

Ryan Graves - Dougie Hamilton

Jonas Siegenthaler - John Marino

Brendan Smith - Damon Severson


Goalies (24th)

Vitek Vanecek

Mackenzie Blackwood


The Devils will ice a lineup that can certainly outperform its projections, as the "Triple H" core of Hughes, Hischier, and Hamilton could be one of the better center-center-defense combinations in the NHL if healthy.


The defense besides Hamilton is steady but unflashy, and the goaltending will need to be much improved if New Jersey wants to take a leap in the standings this season.


 


Dynamic Players


Snipers: Nathan Bastian

Playmakers: Nico Hischier | Andreas Johnsson

Volume Shooters: Jack Hughes | Dougie Hamilton | Jesper Bratt

Play-Drivers: Jesper Bratt

Shutdown Defenders: -None-

Shot Blockers: -None-

Hitters: Nathan Bastian

Enforcers: Nathan Bastian | Michael McLeod

Penalty Drawers: Andreas Johnsson

PP Specialists: Nathan Bastian

PK Specialists: -None-

Faceoff Specialists: Nico Hischier | Erik Haula | Michael McLeod


 


Fantasy Impact


Studs: Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton

Duds: Nico Hischier, Ondrej Palat

Sleepers: Vitek Vanecek

Other Roster Worthy: Jesper Bratt


Hughes and Hamilton both have potential to be league winners at their average draft positions, and if the Devils start to roll this season with Vanecek in net, the win-value is enough to make the goalie a fantasy lineup staple as well.


The Hughes winger you want in your drafts is Jesper Bratt, who is coming off a career season. Palat doesn't expect to have the puck on his stick quite as much, and the other options (Yegor Sharangovich, Tomas Tatar, Dawson Mercer) likely won't receive enough opportunity at both even-strength and on the powerplay to be fantasy relevant.


Also stay away from Nico Hischier due to his production ceiling at an always deep center position. The name and real-life value is bigger than the fantasy output, in this case.

2022-2023 PuckLuck Projections

PLAYER

POS

G

A

PTS

W

GA

SV

SO

Jack Hughes

F

34

57

91

Dougie Hamilton

D

17

31

49

Jesper Bratt

F

28

52

80

Ondrej Palat

F

22

38

60

Nico Hischier

F

22

41

63

Yegor Sharangovich

F

21

24

46

Vitek Vanecek

G

20

122

1129

3


 


Betting Impact



PuckLuck Projection: 78 points

Floor: 68 points Ceiling: 95 points


Projection Data Confidence: 75%

(League Average: 70%)


PuckLuck Odds:

  • Stanley Cup: +90000

  • President's Trophy: +30000

  • Conference: +15000

  • Division: +8000

DraftKings Sportsbook Lines:

  • Stanley Cup: +5000

  • President's Trophy: +8000

  • Conference: +2200

  • Division: +1600

The betting public is higher on the Devils than our projections, making them a solid fade option to begin the season. As stated earlier, they are a big candidate to exceed our projections, but they do face an uphill battle in a solid Metropolitan Division.


Keep an eye on their goaltending to see if it improves, as New Jersey with Hughes healthy could be a fun over bet throughout the season. They're a shot-heavy team, and finished fourth in the NHL in goals against last season.


 


Season Outlook



Division Projection: 6th

Conference Projection: 11th

League Projection: 24th

Playoffs? Not likely


While they made some nice improvements on paper, the goal this season for the Devils is to make sure that improvement translates to the ice. Coach Lindy Ruff turned over his staff, but is running out of leeway and could be on the hot seat if New Jersey starts slow out of the gate.


Overall, it's still tough to say the Devils will leapfrog the at least three teams in the division necessary to make the playoffs. A success would be the core establishing a name for themselves while the young talent in the organization develops into NHL-ready prospects.


Will the New Jersey Devils make the playoffs?

  • Yes

  • No



 


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