3 Changes New Jersey Devils Could Make When Nico Hischier/Jesper Bratt Return

Nico Hischier, Nikita Gusev and Jesper Bratt of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier, Nikita Gusev and Jesper Bratt of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils have a big decision to make when both Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt return to the lineup.

It’s been a really good start for the New Jersey Devils. They were finishing a 10-month layoff with two games against the Boston Bruins to start the season. On top of that, there were no preseason games to get their legs under them. Things started terribly, as the Devils allowed 16 shots to the Bruins in the first period of their return to play.

Since then, the Devils have had 23 high-danger chances to the Bruins’ 15. In the second game the two played, the Bruins only had three high-danger chances at 5v5. In fact, the Bruins scored three goals in those two games, and none of them came at even strength. The Devils did a phenomenal job keeping the Bruins’ scorers at bay.

These forward lines have been phenomenal. Yegor Sharangovich has been a relevation during his rookie season, even if it has just been two games. Jack Hughes looks like he has been as good as advertised, with three points in two games. The third line of Jesper Boqvist, Travis Zajac, and Miles Wood has been driving offense and completely shutting down opposing lines on defense. Even the fourth line of Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian, and Janne Kuokkanen have been good as of late. McLeod came within an inch of getting his first goal in the NHL.

The Devils lineup is buzzing going into the second week of the season. There’s one issue that’s not really an issue at all. The Devils have looked this good without Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt in the lineup. Which means, when they come back, the Devils have to add two spots for them. That also means they have to take two players out of the lineup. Some believe it’s going to be obvious what they do, but head coach Lindy Ruff could get creative.