Why The Devils Are A Playoff Contender Team
Written by Jeff Ramella on September 26, 2019
By Campbell Donovan
Many NHL teams would say that they had a great offseason, but people, in particular, think one team overall had the best offseason. That team is the New Jersey Devils, yes the Devils. New Jersey general manager Ray Shero was on his “A” game this past summer, acquiring young and veteran talent already for his balanced roster. These acquisitions you might ask, be prepared to be impressed.
First of all, the Devils won the first overall pick over their dreaded rivals, the New York Rangers, with the slimmest of chances. They selected Jack Hughes, younger brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes. Analysts say that this kid will be the next Patrick Kane and is regarded as if not the highest rated American-born prospect in draft history. But selecting the Orlando, Florida native was only the beginning for the franchise based out of Newark.
A day later, rumors had spread that star defenseman P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators had been dealt to the Devils. In fact that it was true, Shero worked his magic to get a talented defenseman who is still in his prime years. On top of that, they signed Wayne Simmonds, to help protect the young players and be out on the ice to generate scoring opportunities. The dealing processed with the signing of John Hayden, a 6ft 3” forward from the Chicago Blackhawks with a great presence of physical play.
Months have passed and news speculated about another key piece to the puzzle. The Vegas Golden Knights traded their rights of Russian forward Nikita Gusev of the KHL to the Devils. Finally, New Jersey got the guys they wanted and people around the hockey media world started to take notice that Shero was not messing around and the Devils are a legit contender.
With a team offensive power and generational defense as well as confident goaltending, Devils fans are pleased with the result. This team has a chance to make a deep playoff push with the players they have. A whole bunch of line combinations can make this team great and surprising. And likely the big story is giving star player Taylor Hall a new deal this upcoming season and not risking to trade him at the deadline or let him walkout at the end of the season.
Fans have been blowing up on Twitter and Instagram, jersey sales and ticket prices are up, nationally televised games, and even changing the goal song. The social media reps gave fans the power to vote for a new song and it has been going viral from players as well with many people still wanting the infamous ‘you stink” chant echoed by fans after Devils goals.
This season may be one of the best in this franchise’s history as the fan base continues to hype up its team and the media’s attention starts to graduate towards them. The front office and the coaching staff have done a tremendous job in the past few months to rebuild this team. A mixture of young and ever-aging players look to reestablish once was a winning hockey club and set the tone for many years to come.