Forward Line Predictions When New Jersey Devils Return To Play

Jan 19, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (second from right) celebrates after scoring the first of his two second period goals against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (second from right) celebrates after scoring the first of his two second period goals against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photos-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils are currently not playing due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the team. When they return, most of the players are expected to be available to play.

The New Jersey Devils are going to miss games until at least February 16th. Their COVID-19 outbreak seems to be getting worse before it gets better. Connor Carrick and Sami Vatanen came off the list, but then they went right back on. It sounds like there’s more to this than a clerical error, and the Devils haven’t seen a player come off the list and stay off since Mackenzie Blackwood.

Travis Zajac has been on the list for almost two weeks now. He’s one of 19 players on the list now. Every position now has at least one player on the list after Eric Comrie went on the list this weekend. This is all a pretty negative situation.

The good news is we haven’t heard of any player with serious symptoms. It sounds like it’s just something the Devils have to wait out. Hockey is in an interesting position where players have to be in close contact on the bench, which is probably the worst place to be in close contact since they can’t move.

Since the Devils players seem to be just getting through the virus, it’s safe as of now to project a fully healthy lineup when they return. It’s likely the NHL will wait until just about every Devils player is off the list before playing games. That also leads to Nico Hischier returning from injury and Vatanen joining the lineup after signing late in the season.

So, with that said, what are the ideal lines for the Devils moving forward? They have a ton of options. Here’s where they should start.