New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Who Should Be On Taxi Squad

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 25: Nathan Bastian #42 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first NHL career goal against the Montreal Canadiens during their game at Prudential Center on February 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 25: Nathan Bastian #42 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first NHL career goal against the Montreal Canadiens during their game at Prudential Center on February 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Kevin Bahl #88 of the Ottawa 67’s. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

Kevin Bahl

This might be hoping since it feels like a Devils move to add Matt Tennyson to the squad over someone like Kevin Bahl or Reilly Walsh. Bahl would be a better option, especially since he hasn’t been able to play defense for a similar nine to ten months. He needs reps, and the Devils need to make sure these young defensemen get them.

Bahl is spending his first season in the pros, and the Devils should start it as early as possible. Unlike Walsh, Bahl still needs to figure out who he is as a player. This is thinking long term, getting Bahl as much practice and game reps as possible. Walsh is an offensive defenseman that is going to be able to replace Smith or Butcher, but the Devils don’t need that immediately.

Three defensemen would need to get hurt/sick for Bahl to play. It’s possible, so the Devils have to prepare him to play in the games. Bahl can at least bring NHL size and strength to the equation. He hits people and gets in the way of shots. His positioning isn’t great and he has a lot to work on, but Bahl can at least bring something different to the table for now.

This is thinking more about the future, but he can at least be a serviceable defenseman if the worst-case scenario unfolds. We’ve seen in other sports that are playing outside of a bubble that those scenarios happen, so Bahl might play. It would at least be a decent fit in terms of play style. It would actually be fun to watch a young Bahl play a couple of shifts with Subban, although it has a chance of going very wrong.