New Jersey Devils: Can Josh Jacobs Shock Everyone And Make Roster?

New Jersey Devils defenseman Josh Jacobs (40): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defenseman Josh Jacobs (40): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

Josh Jacobs looked really good in the New Jersey Devils first scrimmage.

The New Jersey Devils played actual hockey on Sunday morning. There were referees, they kept score, one team won and one team lost. It was the closest thing we’ve had to Devils hockey since last March when the pandemic stopped everything. The Devils played a scrimmage with teams separated into a red and white team. The goalies wore black.

There was a lot to learn. Nick Merkley looked really good among the forwards, scoring two goals during the game then adding another one during the shootout. Jack Hughes was really good at times making plays. Damon Severson scored a goal, and Ty Smith made his presence known on the offensive side. Lindy Ruff‘s system started to take shape, and the Devils look to be heading in the right direction.

One player that really stood out unexpectedly was Josh Jacobs. The feed was far away with no play by play, so it is hard to make any extreme opinions, but Jacobs was hard not to notice. He scored a goal and helped stopped the white team while he was on the ice.

Jacobs is a former 2nd-round pick that seemed like a lost cause. He spent a lot of last season on the bottom pair. He didn’t get to the bottom pair in the NHL, he was on the bottom pair in the AHL.

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Jacobs was taken way back in 2014 with the 41st-overall pick. It was a Lou Lamoriello pick, so Jacobs was taken two GMs ago. The Devils could have easily let him walk this offseason, but they decided to re-sign him to a one-year deal.

There’s a chance the Devils can allow a surprise defenseman to make the team. They have P.K. Subban, Connor Carrick, Severson, Ryan Murray, Will Butcher, and Dmitry Kulikov as guaranteed members of the roster. That leaves one extra spot for either Smith or Reilly Walsh (probably Smith). However, the Devils could decide to carry eight defensemen since they are playing so many games in such a short amount of time. That could open the door for Jacobs to make the team.

We talked about the possibility of Colton White making the team during the offseason, but Jacobs could take that same spot. It’s still a long way until the Devils get to that point, but if Jacobs continues on the path he showed on Sunday, then it would be hard for the Devils to keep him off the roster.