New Jersey Devils: 3 Players On Chopping Block With Jesper Bratt’s Return

Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Michael McLeod #20 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Michael McLeod

Michael McLeod finally scored the first goal of his career after on Tuesday night after 39 games in the NHL. It has been a rough start to a once-promising career. McLeod was supposed to be the future 1C before the Devils drafted Nico Hischier. Right now, McLeod has been a little up and down this season, but for the most part he’s looked better than he has in years before.

However, has he been better than any of the other Devils forwards? Sometimes, he’s definitely had chemistry with his fourth line. That has given them decent stats.

Of all the forwards who have played every night, McLeod has the lowest minute totals at 5v5. His CF% is even (50%), and his high-danger chance percent is right in the middle of the team.

The reason McLeod is on the chopping block is a lot of what he does can be done by Bratt himself. He’s one of the extras on the penalty kill, playing just over four minutes while shorthanded in the first five games. He doesn’t play on the power play (he has 22 seconds with a man advantage all season).

McLeod has looked better, and it would be upsetting to see him get taken out of the lineup just days after his first goal. Maybe he could be getting ready to go on a tear. Still, Ruff has a hard decision to make. McLeod is on the chopping block because he’s been average. Just because average is a lot better than how he’s been doesn’t mean the Devils should commit to keeping him in the lineup.