New Jersey Devils: 5 Things We Learned About This Roster In 2020-21

Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils Janne Kuokkanen, Jack Hughes, and Yegor Sharangovich: (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils learned a lot in the 2021 truncated season. Obviously, there were situations that really hurt the learning curve. Specifically, the COVID outbreak really messed up what this season was all about. Most of the team played three rungs below what they were capable of because of a virus that attacks lung capacity. Looking beyond that, the Devils still learned a lot about this roster and what they can do with it moving forward.

This list will only look at players who are still on the roster. We won’t take the easy way out like “Nikita Gusev was not a good trade” or “Travis Zajac was a tradeable piece”. This is looking at what we learned about the roster in front of us now.

The experience from this season was brutal, but having such a young roster provided an interesting look into Lindy Ruff’s system. Veterans tend to play their game no matter what, but the young guns were able to put together Ruff’s vision to a tee. Players like Yegor Sharangovich, Michael McLeod, and Janne Kuokkanen come with completely different opinions because of what Ruff was able to do with them. Meanwhile, a player like Jesper Boqvist may not be a fit going forward.

There are definitely things we didn’t learn. We have no idea what Nico Hischier is going to become after this season. He was hurt, sick, or above average for every game. Those injuries may have lingered, but his defense definitely suffered. He was wearing a cage for most of his games, so no way to know how that impacted his vision. Hischier will not be on this list.

Someone who is on the list is Jack Hughes…