New Jersey Devils: Recapping Their 1982 First Season

The New Jersey Devils were an interesting team back in 1982.

The Seattle franchise that became a part of the National Hockey League family back in December finally picked out a name. They are going to be known as the Seattle Kraken, and they are going to begin to play as the NHL’s 32nd franchise in 2021-22. There is a lot of things to sort out between now and then, but it certainly should be very exciting. You know, there was a time where the New Jersey Devils were one of the NHL’s newer teams just like Seattle is going to be. New Jersey was awful coming over after being the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Scouts before that.

The Kraken certainly hope that they have a better inaugural season than the Devils had back in 1982. For New Jersey, they were really bad in that first year after the relocation. Seattle is going to have an expansion draft instead of relocating which could lead to them being better or worse, depending on how they approach and execute the said expansion draft.

The 1982-83 New Jersey Devils wore the red, white, and green sweaters that we know as throwbacks here in 2020. They finished with a putrid record of 17-49-14, which was only good for 48 standings points and 5th place in the Patrick Division. It was a bad year for the team as a whole, but it laid the foundation of the franchise that would one day bloom into one of the elite ones in the league for a long time.

Glenn Resch (Chico), Ron Low, Shawn MacKenzie, and Lindsay Middlebrook all make starts for the Devils in the goal that year. Chico was their main starter but he didn’t have as good of a year as he had in previous NHL years. The team was bad in front of them all so nobody really rips on them for the way they played.

Aaron Broten led the team in scoring with 16 goals and 39 assists for 55 points. Steve Tambellini lit the lamp 25 times. Tambellini also scored the first hat trick in New Jersey Devils history that year when he scored three against the Hartford Whalers on December 3rd, 1982. The offense wasn’t good at all, but there were a few decent years from a few different players.

In the 1982 draft ahead of the season, they made Rocky Trottier their first-ever draft pick when they took him with the eighth overall pick. They also selected Ken Daneyko in that 1st round ten picks later at 18th overall. As you know, Daneyko went on to be one of the best players to ever play for the organization. One notable draft pick in that first round was another all-time great Devil named Scott Stevens being drafted by the Washington Capitals with the fifth overall pick.

It wasn’t a great season for the team on the ice but as mentioned before, it set a tone for the franchise for many years to come. This year allowed them to be a part of the league from New Jersey and start building what would become a team that wins multiple championships down the road. It is exciting that the league has expanded so much since then because the more hockey, the merrier.