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The Devils’ early player strength rankings

Welcome to the first ever New Jersey Devils Internal strength rankings, we will see who is hot every few weeks and who is not paying attention. It is important to remember that these rankings have nothing to do with overall personal value, but rather reflect the performance of players compared to their teammates in recent weeks. Just like stocks, player ratings will rise and fall with each update. For example, although Andreas Johnsson may not be one of the Devil’s most valuable players, His outstanding performance so far This season has made him one of the top positions on the board of directors.

Every few weeks, the power ranking of the entire list of devils will be released, and the biggest mover selected this month will be analyzed. Since this is the first month of the NHL game, there is obviously no promoter yet. Instead, we will set a baseline for the season based on each demon’s performance so far, and analyze the top five, as well as some concluding explanations. Without further ado, let us enter the rankings!

1. Nico Hischier

No, Nico Hischier did not lead the team in scoring or any similar flamboyance, but he immediately became the most important forward for the Devils. Once Jack Hughes is down A shoulder injury may last more than a month. The captain took on the responsibility of the top center instead of Hughes and did not disappoint him.

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

In this young season, 5 of Nico’s 7 assists were the main assists. Although the number of goals has not yet appeared (two goals), he leads the team in the number of unblocked high-risk shots and The second highest expected goal rate indicates that more production is on the way. Considering his stable faceoff rate is about 55% and 14 steals, he has the most rotations in the entire lineup, and the defense has always been there.

2.Doggy Hamilton

In the past offseason, the NHL free agent bonus has left a deep impression in 15 games, even though he has only participated in 12 games.Nonetheless, Doggy Hamilton is looking for a way to do something for the Devils because the team has already done it. finally Find yourself a top defender who can influence both ends of the ice.

related: Former Demon Jamie Langenbrunner: Where is he now?

Hamilton was just ahead of Ryan Graves in 21:57 average playing time (ATOI), almost copied the blocks of his defensive partner, and hit three games less, while contributing 5 at the same time Goals and 5 assists. He also played his role in the strength game with an advantage of four people and led the team in the number of goals (47).

Andreas Johnson

After experiencing the terrible 2020-21 season, Johnson found himself the Devil’s common scoring leader, which is also one of the main reasons why the team survived Hughes’ huge loss. The high shooting percentage may make some people think that Johnson’s hot start of the season is a fluke, but evidence such as 5 major assists and 14 minutes of free throws shows that his performance is not just luck.

Andreas Johnson, New Jersey Devils
Andreas Johnson, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

In addition, the chemistry between Johnsson and teammates Jesper Bratt and Dawson Mercer has been one of the highlights of the season. Speaking of…

4. Dawson Mercer

this Mercer’s Youth Center In the first month of the season, his performance is simply a revelation, because he tied for the top of the team with 11 points and has become an early contender for the Calder Trophy.

Regardless of the numbers, Mercer used his incredible skating and organization skills to drive New Jersey’s offense, which is truly a treat worth watching.As evidenced by his gorgeous spin (and blind) horizontal pass, this caused Blatt to score a goal against his opponent. Boston Bruins Last week, Mercer had the raw ability and IQ needed to thrive at this level. He didn’t seem to slow down.

5. Pavel Zacha

Yes Pavel Zacha from last season -And the Zacha that the Devils thought they got when they drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2015-will they really stay? In the early days, this seemed to be because the late bloomer continued to score goals-he led the team with seven goals.

Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils
Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

In the 2020-21 season, Zacha scored 17 goals in 50 games. Compared with this season, his performance is much better. Being selected at only 18 years old, it feels like he is always with the team. In fact, he is only 24 years old and may just need a little extra time to become his expected shooter.

Leftover bag

After breaking down the top five of the Devils, let’s take a look at how the rest of the roster ranks:

6. Ryan Graves

7. Jess Pablat

8. Damon Severson

9. Mackenzie Blackwood

10.Michael McLeod

11. Jonathan Bernier

12.PK deputy class

13. Jimmy Versey

14. Thomas Tatar

15. Jonas Sigenthaler

16. Jenny Kukkanen

17. Ty Smith

18. Alexander Holtz

19. Yegor Sharangovich

20. Colton White

21. Jasper Boquist

22. Mason Gilson

23. Fabian Zetterlund

Please note: injured reserve players will not be included in the strength ranking. The American Hockey League (AHL) has little or no experience in recruiting and will automatically start from the bottom of the rankings until they reach the NHL level.

Holtz and Boqvist started slowly

In the limited rink time this season, the two more exciting young players of the Devils are struggling.Players like Mercer who have an immediate effect in the NHL are exceptions to the rule, and there is no reason to oppose Alexander Holtz and Jesper Boquist So far, especially considering that they have only played five games each.what Yes What’s exciting is their outstanding performance for the Utica Comets in the AHL before being called. Boqvist scored 8 points in seven games, and Holtz scored an impressive five goals in four games. We will see if more major league experience will lead to a rise in the ranking next time.

The Tatars, Vichy and McLeod find themselves in unlikely places

One of the biggest disappointments at the beginning of the season was Thomas Tatar, Who seems unable to find continuous production and has recently missed several golden opportunities to score. The silver lining is that he can at least cause some damage and should expect the veteran’s score to rise.

Thomas Tatar, New Jersey Devils
Thomas Tatar, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

At the other end of the spectrum, Michael McLeod and Jimmy Vesey rank relatively high in the “grinder-type” forwards. Their offensive data may not be high, but so far, the situational value provided by these two is very good. This is especially true for McLeod, who has become the center of choice for important draws-he has an impressive 59.5 win rate for faceoffs. After being impressed in the professional training, Vichy has always provided energy and even scored more points than Janne Kuokkanen and Yegor Sharangovich (5).

“Hughes” returns

The next few weeks will be significant for the Devils as they try to get normally reliable players like Sharangovich and Tatar back on track. This will also be an important time for the youngest devil, who will either sink or learn to swim at the NHL level. By the time of the next power ranking, their route should have been very clear. Of course, the team is waiting for the return of Hughes, his appearance will greatly change this list. I hope this young center can return quickly and give this team a huge boost, which is definitely needed in the competition. Metropolitan Department.

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Vincent Velotta is a freelance journalist based in New York, covering the New Jersey Devils for hockey writers. He has reported on sports and entertainment programs for various media including Country Voice and Minute Media.

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