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New Jersey Devils: Top 5 Captain Candidates Not Named Nico Hischier

New Jersey Devils - Nico Hischier #13 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils - Nico Hischier #13 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils – P.K. Subban #76 and Jack Hughes #86 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

When the New Jersey Devils traded Andy Greene to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline, it left a rudderless team without its captain. With the entire franchise in flux who on the current roster is best equipped to grab the wheel and navigate these choppy waters? Many believe Nico Hischier is that man, but what if I told you he’s not the clear cut candidate to replace Greene? That’s right I said it.

What if I told you there is more than one option?

Okay, now you’re probably asking yourself, “If not Hischier then who?”

I thought you might say that. No worries, I got you covered. Here are my top 5 candidates other than Nico to become the 12th captain in Devils history.

5. Jack Hughes:

Jack Hughes was anointed the “chosen one” when his name was called first at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. His first “full” NHL season did not go as planned and statistically speaking he just wasn’t very good. However, throughout his first 61 games, number 86 showed flashes of brilliance and gave us a glimpse into why he deserved to be the top pick.  At just 19-years-old, there’s no doubt the kid can flat out play and should be a cornerstone for this franchise for many years to come.

Despite the young age, there is a precedent in the NHL for very young captains. NHL stars and franchise-altering talents, Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby each had the “C” stitched on their sweaters at the tender age of 19. If Hughes is the true “chosen one” then he should be the easiest choice to replace Greene.

4. P.K. Subban

The affable veteran defenseman quickly established himself as a strong voice in both the locker room and with the media throughout the entirety of his first season in New Jersey. P.K. Subban’s on-ice play was a bit hard to stomach at first, but he more than made up for it with his incredible social media presence and his willingness to speak openly and honestly despite his and the team’s struggles.

From his meteoric rise in Montreal to the peak of his play in Nashville, Subban has been an outstanding ambassador for the sport of hockey. His charitable work is unrivaled and he could help shine some much-needed light on the club and its efforts to grow the sport inside Newark and beyond.

As captain, Subban would instantly put a face to a historically faceless franchise. The former Norris Trophy winner also fits the mold of previous Devils captains. He’s well into his 30’s and plays defense.