5 Best New Jersey Devils Rookie Seasons Of All Time

Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Scott Niedermayer #27 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

5. Scott Niedermayer 1992-93

Lou Lamoriello made a lot of great moves over his close to three decades leading the Devils as general manager. He drafted Martin Brodeur, he demanded Scott Stevens as compensation for Brendan Shanahan, he signed Brian Rafalski and John Madden after they weren’t even drafted, and he took a chance on Patrik Elias in the 2nd round of the draft. Still, his greatest move of all time was the move that got him Scott Niedermayer.

The Devils traded Tom Kurvers to the Maple Leafs for a 1st-round draft pick two years later. The Maple Leafs were terrible that season, and the pick was third overall. The Devils watched Niedermayer fall to them, and Lou pounced.

One year later, a 19-year-old Niedermayer was a regular on the Devils’ roster. Almost immediately, he made an impact on a young roster. The Devils were still a couple of years away from being a true contender, but the building blocks were there.

Niedermayer ended up being one of the most important blocks to the Devils’ dynasty. The offensive-minded defenseman had one of the better rookie years for a defenseman in team history. He probably would have gotten more consideration for the Calder Trophy if a young Finn named Teemu Selanne didn’t light the league on fire (it’s hard to compete with 76 goals from a rookie).

Niedermayer finished the season with 40 points. He helped the Devils reach the playoffs, and even put up three points in a five-game loss in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Niedermayer obviously went on to have a phenomenal career that eventually led him to the Hall of Fame.