How 3-on-3 Overtime Could Impact The New Jersey Devils, Jacob Josefson


At the NHL General Manager meetings in Boca Raton, FL. this week it has emerged there will be a couple of huge changes coming to league for the 2015-16 season. As is the norm in these types of meetings by now 3-on-3 overtime was a big topic and has finally been approved. So has the coach’s challenge for goalie interference and delay of game penalties.

The first thing the NHL have to tackle is which format they choose to deploy the new style in. The two likely options that present themselves are 5 minutes of total 3-on-3 or the AHL format of a seven minute period, 4-on-4 until the first whistle after three minutes of play left then 3-on-3 for the rest of the period before heading to the shootout. In the AHL this season 224 games have gone to an extra period with 171 ending before the shootout. That’s 76.3%, up from last seasons total of 35.3%. That change looks good for the anti-shootout crowd and so do this next stat. Of the 171 goals a whopping 73 were scored during 3-on-3 play. That’s 42.7%.

More from Devils News

The general idea of the move to 3-on-3 is to cut down the likelihood of games ending in a shootout. Something that is working comprehensively in the AHL, and the NHL GMs want to feel the benefits too.

Now how does this relate to the Devils? I hear you ask.

Amongst the troubles facing the Devils over the last three years the pesky shootout has been one of the factors depriving fans of cheering on the team in a playoff appearance. Finishing 2013-14 five points off the 2nd wildcard spot with an 0-13 shootout record whilst the league average was 6.5-11.8 or a 54.2 winning percentage. Also known as the shootout record the Devils needed to be a playoff team. This season the Devils ended an 0-18 losing streak in the shootout with a win over the Winnipeg Jets. The team currently sits with a 4-7 record. Above last seasons needed percentage but other factors mean the Devils find themselves in a position to once again watch the playoffs from home.

The shootout is set to become more of a rarity as the Devils are seemingly getting good at it. Go figure. The non-shootout figures are less encouraging. Whilst going 0-13 in the shootout the Devils finished the year 9-4 in games settled in the OT period. This year? 1-4.

A big positive for fans to look toward is the play of Jacob Josefson. This year the center has been a diamond in the rough for the Devils when it comes to special teams and the shootout. On the surface his record of five goals through fifty games doesn’t look impressive but when you consider 3 of those goals have come short-handed and one is a game winner. His record for the year in the shootout is 4-7. The same record as the teams win-loss record in the skills contest.

The play of Jacob Josefson is a big factor for the team moving forward. His CF% has never dipped below 50 and is currently at 50.4% whilst he is getting 53.5% defensive zone starts. We know he can score when the Devils have less than five skaters on the ice and he is quite handy when it comes to the shootout. As he ascends to become one of the Devils best prospects he could also find himself being valued higher muh faster by the change to 3-on-3 overtime and deciding what to do with the young Swede next season could be made easier with his prowess on special teams and in the shootout.

Next: Jacob Josefson: A Top-Six Center For The New Jersey Devils?

More from Pucks and Pitchforks