The New Jersey Devils should have an improved power play when hockey returns.
The New Jersey Devils are a team that has had a lot of issues over the past couple of years. One of those issues has been the power play. In 2017-18, Taylor Hall had an MVP season which helped them have a 21.4 percent power play, ranking 10th in the NHL. The following year wasn’t as successful as they came in 21st with a unit that clicked at just 17.7 percent. Over this past year, they stayed consistent as their unit finished 21st again with a 17.9 percent power play.
It is definitely an area that they need to improve on if they want to start winning again. There are a few keys to that happening and it starts with a different strategy. They hired Mark Recchi to be an assistant coach and he will handle the man-advantage. He has done a great job with that in the past and we have to hope he can bring that to New Jersey.
The next big step will be the development of a few special players. The present and future revolve around the play of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. They both bring a certain set of skills that can really help the Devils on the power play. Hischier is a guy who can win 50/50 battles and be strong in front of the net while Hughes can make big plays using his impressive hockey IQ. If these guys get it going the way we know they can next year, the power play is automatically better for it.
There also needs to be better production on the power play from the defenseman on this team. We don’t know if Ty Smith will have a prominent role but guys like Damon Severson, P.K. Subban, and Will Butcher will certainly see some time. If we see some old school Subban with his big shot it could get really interesting.
There are also some new faces to consider on the power play this year. There are plenty of young players that might get a chance but the trade of Andreas Johnsson could really help as well. He is likely a guy who could come out with the second unit and make it better. He wasn’t much of a go-to guy in Toronto but with New Jersey, he should get much more quality power-play ice.
There are a lot of things that need to go right for this team to have a power play that doesn’t finish in the bottom third of the league for the second straight year. It is important that they put the right players in the right spot and we can be confident that this new coaching staff will do that. It should be fun to see what they can do if they really get it going well.