New Jersey Devils: 5 Predictions For Second Half Of Season

Mar 23, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59), defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59), defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Janne Kuokkanen #59 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Rookies End Up Scoring 120 Points

Right now, the New Jersey Devils rookies are leading the league with 57 points as a team. Ty Smith (17) and Janne Kuokkanen (15) are leading the way, and they find themselves in the top ten in rookie scoring. If the Devils stay on this pace, they will have 106 points from the rookies at the end of the season. That’s really good, and it will likely lead the NHL.

However, the Devils are scoring more, and the rookies are leading the way. Smith is coming off a two-assist performance. Kuokkanen has nine points in his last nine games. Yegor Sharangovich has three goals in his last six games. Mikhail Maltsev is becoming a regular in the lineup. Nate Bastian is eventually going to return to the lineup. Nick Merkley might get a few more looks.

On top of everything, the Devils are finally getting a rhythm again offensively. They are putting up more high-danger chances, and the rookies are really helping the veterans get going. In fact, Kuokkanen and Sharangovich are personally responsible for bringing Travis Zajac back from the dead. He scored another goal on Tuesday against the Flyers.

So, how can they outdo the pace they’ve put up? Well, for one, Tyce Thompson is going to get an NHL look, and he showed in college he can put up points against high-level competition. The Devils could be adding Dawson Mercer to the lineup after his season ends. He’s been scoring more than a point per game in juniors. Some players on the Binghamton Devils like Reilly Walsh and Nolan Foote will get a chance to play if the trade deadline ends up being a busy one. More rookies are coming, and the scoring will continue to increase from the young guns.