After the Devils re-signed Mike Hoeffel to a 1-year deal when he was an RFA, Hoeffel spent the whole season with the Albany Devils. This year, the NJ Devils Free Agency plans will also have Hoeffel somewhere in it.
Last summer, I had put up a poll after Hoeffel was signed with three options available. There were much more votes on the Cam Janssen options but there were 10 total votes. 4 people said that they had a neutral reaction to the Hoeffel signing while three people had a good and horrible reaction respectively.
Hoeffel did put up better numbers last season, playing in one more game (53), tallied 2 more goals (7), 7 more assists (12), and a +6 rating (+5 difference).
After playing for the US National Developmental U-18 team, the New Jersey Devils drafted Hoeffel in the 2nd round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first games with the Albany Devils in 2010-11 but only played in 10 games.
Hoeffel’s totals with the Albany Devils stand at 165 games, 19 goals, 21 assists, and a -5 rating. Hockey’s Future mentions that Hoeffel can be molded into a good penalty killer but also has limited upside.
I think it is a slippery slope with Mike. HF mentioned that he found a groove in Albany with the likes of Darcy Zajac and Tim Sestito. As far of the roster rankings and where Hoeffel would land, it is behind many players like Mike Sislo, Tim Sestito, Reid Boucher, and Joe Whitney. The Devils could sign him to another 1-year deal and let the chips fall where they may, but it is tough to tell if they would do so.
I think they will because the forward position has been a bit of a revolving door with the young talent bouncing up and down the ranks. Albany also needs depth on their roster and Hoeffel will land there for now and give them the necessary depth. Mike has also shown improvement in his numbers, especially in his plus/minus, so another year would be enough to feel out his growth.
Hoeffel will become an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1st.