New Jersey Devils: A grade for John Hayden’s underwhelming year

The New Jersey Devils used John Hayden in their lineup more than they should have and he didn’t make it look good.

The New Jersey Devils have a lot of players in their lineup that they probably need to look to replace. It isn’t fun to talk about someone like that, but that is the case for John Hayden. He is someone who isn’t that good defensively and brings little to no offense to the table. He only had 3 goals and 1 assist for 4 points in 43 games played on New Jersey’s fourth line.

The Devils brought in Hayden in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks that sent John Quenneville back to them. It was one that is probably never going to pay many dividends for either club as Quenneville didn’t do much in 2019-20 either for them or the Rockford Ice Hogs. The Devils probably thought that each player needed a change of scenery which was certainly true. The problem for the Devils is he didn’t be that physical good fourth liner that they were expecting him to be.

He did provide more physicality to the Devils than they otherwise would have had but it probably isn’t worth it for the rest of his game. John Hayden didn’t have a single primary assist in any of the games he played which shows that he is not going to be a guy whoever makes anyone better. His offense being as bad as it is in the NHL isn’t worth the physical presence that he brings. The Devils were pretty outmatched just about every shift that he was on the ice.

He is on an expiring contract so nobody knows if he is going to be back. The Devils very well could sign him and use him in that same role with the Binghamton Devils. It may be a good idea but him making whatever line he is on basically useless makes it seem like he probably shouldn’t be brought back.


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The New Jersey Devils should probably just cut ties with Hayden after this year if we are being honest. He is getting an F because outside of some quality hitting, he doesn’t help the team win at all. When you hit as much like him that means you probably don’t have the puck. The Devils certainly didn’t have the puck very often when he was on the ice.

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You might even see the team’s other fourth line options start to succeed more if they weren’t stuck with Hayden on the ice. It seems harsh but that is the reality of the situation. Maybe they want to try and get the most out of him to make the Quenneville draft pick look a little better but that ship has sailed.

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