New Jersey Devils End Of Season Player Grades Part 1

Nico Hischier #13,Jesper Bratt #63 and Jack Hughes #86 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier #13,Jesper Bratt #63 and Jack Hughes #86 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod (20): (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

Micheal McLeod

GP:52 G:9 A:6 PTS:15

Michael McLeod’s hype had fallen off before this season. He was starting to look like a career AHL player. Now, he’s a guy who looks to have figured it out. He might never be a top-six guy, but centering an exciting fourth line that can move and hit is something the Devils really need. His shot and hockey IQ looked a lot closer to being at the level he had in Mississauga. With a good offseason and a small step forward, they will become a dominant 4th line and a terror in the playoffs. What the Devils need to avoid here is not pushing them up the lineup and expecting too much when they are what they are.

Final season grade: B+

Nathan Bastian

GP:41 G:3 A:7 PTS:10

The big physical force led all Devils in hits this season with 136 and had nearly a 40 hit difference between him and the number two guy on the team, fellow linemate Mcleod. These are the intangibles Nathan Bastian needs to bring night in and night out because this team has so many small players who don’t lay out the body too often. His point totals tailed off at the end despite solid play but all the skills are there and his value will only increase as the Devils become more competitive and games get more physical later in the season and playoffs.

Final season grade: B

Miles Wood

GP:55 G:17 A:8 PTS:25

Usually, the team’s hit and fight leader, Miles Wood’s game changed this season. He still kept his edge, but he found a way to also be the team’s scoring leader. Despite the hit numbers which show he did not use the body as often, anyone who watched Devils games knows he was a force on the ice making sure people came out of the game at least a little banged up. His speed is top-notch and was still used but the control he showed with it was a real game-changer as he stopped taking bad penalties running the goalie and putting the team behind. His growth as a player and leader was easy to see and while it would be nice to see him drop the gloves a bit more staying out of the box is important. Miles always has been an intriguing player and hopefully, the Devils know what he is and how much he is worthwhile not pushing him up the lineup and expecting him to become a 40-50 point player. Keep him in the bottom 6 and let him be the best at his role in the league which he may be capable of doing.

Final season grade: A