New Jersey Devils: Yegor Sharangovich Is Much More Than A One-Hit Wonder

Yegor Sharangovich #17 of the New Jersey Devils: (POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports)
Yegor Sharangovich #17 of the New Jersey Devils: (POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils got a surprise in 2017-18 when Jesper Bratt came out of nowhere to make the NHL roster and produce at a very high level. He fell off towards the end of the season, but a 6th-round pick contributing 35 points in his 19-year-old season is epic. He would become a fixture in the lineup, and this season he really is coming into his own. The Devils might have gotten lucky again, but the ceiling of Yegor Sharangovich might be even higher than Bratt’s.

Something clicked with Sharangovich in the offseason, and he went nuts in his short stint in the KHL before the NHL season started. He was leading the Russian league in goals for most of the season, and he finished with 17 in 34 games. He’s still in the top 30 in scoring despite not playing there since December.

The Devils gave Sharangovich a chance to make the opening-night roster, and it paid off immediately. In his second career NHL game, Sharangovich scored a goal with barely a second left in overtime to beat the Boston Bruins. He was in the right place at the right time, and he showed a finishing touch the Devils sorely needed.

It’s hard to top that goal to start off your career. Sharangovich is second on the Devils with 16 goals in 52 games with a few games left in the season. He needs one more to tie Miles Wood. That puts him on pace for 25 goals if this were an 82-game season.

Sharangovich is playing on a line with Jack Hughes and Janne Kuokkanen (that we have named the Youths Line and we will accept no other name submissions at this time). They have the chemistry Hughes has been looking for since he joined the NHL and left the side of Cole Caufield. Hughes has 31 points this season, which is already 10 more points than he had all of last season in fewer games.

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Sharangovich is 22 years old, so he’s a little older than Bratt was when he broke into the NHL, but he’s still only two years from when he was drafted. The Devils took a chance on a decent player from Belarus who looked like the best player on his junior teams, but he wasn’t exactly surrounded by stars. Now, it looks like he’s the star.

Sharangovich has everything that makes a good NHL player. His shot is absolutely lethal. He’s able to pick corners and find the seam on every single shot. He can play on the power play, the penalty kill, and he’s very exciting on the 3v3 overtime. There’s a package here. Maybe he’s not a top-line player for his entire career, but to get a winger like this seemingly out of nowhere is what could lead this team out of a rebuild.

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It’s been a strange two years for the Devils, but they really need to get players like Sharangovich to give real hope for the future. The Devils have a foundation beyond Hughes and Nico Hischier. Adding Sharangovich to the future wingers like Alexander Holtz, Dawson Mercer, Bratt, and Pavel Zacha will give the Devils a very good top six without adding anyone. They have options for the present and the future because of the emergence of Sharangovich in this lineup.