New Jersey Devils: Kevin Bahl’s Rollercoaster Season

LONDON, ON - JANUARY 12: Kevin Bahl #88 of the Ottawa 67s waits as he gets ready for the start of the game prior to OHL game action against the London Knights at Budweiser Gardens on January 12, 2019 in London, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
LONDON, ON - JANUARY 12: Kevin Bahl #88 of the Ottawa 67s waits as he gets ready for the start of the game prior to OHL game action against the London Knights at Budweiser Gardens on January 12, 2019 in London, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils are hoping that Kevin Bahl turns into a solid shut down defenseman as he was a piece that came back in the Taylor Hall trade.

The New Jersey Devils are getting close to closing a tough 2019-20 season. They went into the year with expectations that they would be a playoff team. They added in the offseason via the draft, free agency, and trades, which led to their roster looking much improved over the previous years. They were getting Taylor Hall back from a major injury; another big boost for a team with playoff aspirations.

Instead, the season got off to a horrible start. They barely won any games, including losing the first seven in a row, and most of the players were not playing well. That led to them trading Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes. The top prospect that came back to the Devils was Kevin Bahl of the Ottawa 67’s. He is a big defenseman that is viewed as a shutdown guy.

Saying he is a big defenseman is an understatement. He is 6’7″ and 240 lbs. When he finally gets into the NHL lineup, he will always be one of the bigger players on the ice if not the biggest. If he shutdown game continues to develop, that would be a huge boost for the Devils. That is something that they desperately need. We know about some of the highly skilled forwards they have added over the past few seasons so adding a defenseman like this could be awesome one day.

Bahl likely isn’t going to give a game-breaking amount of offense when he reaches the NHL. His numbers with Ottawa, however, are decent for a shutdown defenseman. He has six goals and 25 assists for 31 points in 54 games. His points per game have gone up every year with the 67’s as he continues to develop and climb their lineup. It will be interesting to see how much or how little his offense translates to the NHL.

light. Hot. The New Jersey Devils are still paying their employees during the pause

The thing is, he doesn’t need to be an offensive hero. He just needs to be what he is advertised as, which is a big mean defenseman that can impose his will on the opponent. It has been a roller coaster of a season for him but now he can focus on preparing for an offseason that he has a chance to turn into an NHL player. With his Ottawa 67’s team, playing for Canada at the World Juniors, and the trade, Bahl has been through a lot this year. He should be excited about what could be ahead of him in his hockey career.