New Jersey Devils: We’re Pleased To Meet You, Mr. Taylor Hall

Apr 6, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall (4) waits for the play to start against the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall (4) waits for the play to start against the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils recently announced that their prized acquisition of the 2016 off-season, left wing Taylor Hall, will be coming to Prudential Center for a special open house on August 14, 2016.

Mr. Mick Jagger, thank you very much, but there is absolutely no need to have any “Sympathy For The Devils” these days.

Sunday August 14th will be an exciting day for Devils season members, as they are invited to the Rock to witness the formal unveiling of the most dynamic forward to join the club since Ilya Kovalchuk, one Mr. Taylor Hall.

Whether you like Hall more for his superior speed, his uncanny shooting accuracy or his underrated willingness to take the body, there is no doubt the Calgary native is exactly the type of potent forward the offensively challenged New Jersey Devils have craved for lo’ these many years to upgrade their attack.

The fact Hall will likely be paired with his strike partner in juniors on the Winsor Spitfires, Adam Henrique, is an added bonus. Their preexisting chemistry should allow the number one selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to hit the ground running in Newark this season.

It’s been a long time since a talent the likes of Taylor Hall donned a Devils’ sweater.

Even the ripple effect on the line combinations down the pecking order on the club is pretty intriguing. Hall’s presence pushes Mike Cammalleri to the second line and someone like Reid Boucher, if he ever signs, to a third line left wing role. All of a sudden, not only is the first line far stronger, but there is more secondary scoring depth throughout the Top 9.

Adam Larsson is a very strong defender, and he’ll be missed, but bringing in a talent the likes of Taylor Hall for Larsson to a team so wanting for offense was the ultimate no-brainer.

"Ray Shero is making a habit of fleecing other NHL clubs for solid Top 9 forwards."

Can’t want to see what Hall has to say to the fan base, can’t wait for the locker room tour and can’t want for the season to start. The Devils have done a great job upgrading the talent level at all levels of the organization. On the main club, I expect the recently acquired Zern Fiddler, Beau Bennett and Ben Lovejoy to all be solid contributors. And last year’s Devante Smith-Pelly trade was another example of Ray Shero’s version of NHL highway robbery. There are plenty of shiny new toys for John Hynes to tinker with this campaign.

Taking a look at a few members of the prospect pool, one shining light in the crowd is the former Brown University star, Nick Lappin. The right winger was highly productive after his spring signing, with 5 goals in 11 playoff games for Albany. I believe he is a diamond-in-the-rough who may turn out to be an underrated lower level free agent signing for the team. Think about Rust, Kuhnhackl or Sheary for the Pens, remember who found and developed them and how much each of those young men were coveted at the time, and you’ll have a general understanding of why I feel the way I do.

And it’s also vital to recall that two of the Devils recent first round picks at the forward position, Pavel Zacha and John Quenneville, aren’t far away at all. Both could conceivably help the main club this year.

It’s a time of unbridled optimism in New Jersey. Training camp can’t start soon enough.

Next: The Future of Mike Cammalleri

So, Mr. Taylor Hall, the Devils faithful will gratefully welcome hearing words along the lines of “Please allow me to introduce myself” when you step to the microphone on August 14th. You are the primary symbol of the team’s new direction and future. Rest assured, here in the Garden State, the New Jersey Devils supporters will be just as “Pleased to meet you”. And they won’t even care if you can guess their names!

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