5 Questions New Jersey Devils Must Answer This Season

Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Jesper Boqvist #90 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

How Far Can A Young Core Take You?

The Devils have a lot of young players on the roster this season. The two with the most responsibility are Hischier and Hughes obviously, but they aren’t the only players under the age of 25 that have huge responsibilities.

Just look at the Devils’ third line. Yegor Sharangovich, Janne Kuokkanen, and Jesper Boqvist have a combined 43 games of NHL experience. 35 games are Boqvist’s 2019-20 season, which just didn’t put him in a position to succeed. They are all 22 years old and spending their first opening night on an NHL roster.

Then, there’s the fourth line as currently constructed. Right now, with Hischier and Bratt still out of the lineup (both of whom are also 22), they have Miles Wood, Michael McLeod, and Nathan Bastian on that bottom line. They are 25, 22, and 23 years old respectively.

How far can a roster with six 22 year olds, two 23 year olds, and one 20 year old in prominent forward positions go? The Devils hope they can take them far. That’s just at the forward position. This isn’t to mention 20-year-old Ty Smith and 24-year-old Blackwood between the pipes. It’s a youth movement on a team that was too old for too long. Now, let’s see how this works.