New Jersey Devils: Ty Smith Was Truly Remarkable In 2021

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 06: Ty Smith #24 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the second period against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center on March 06, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey.A limited number of fans are in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 06: Ty Smith #24 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the second period against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center on March 06, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey.A limited number of fans are in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils didn’t have a good year at all. There was almost nothing to be proud of in terms of their play as a team. Some players stepped up this season, and Ty Smith was one of them. He is looking like one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. He should be a top ten finisher for the NHL Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. The Devils are hoping that he can continue to develop into a star.

Ty Smith is going to be a very important piece of the New Jersey Devils for a long time.

Smith went into the season with the idea that he has to just continue to develop. He didn’t make the team in the two years prior and it was a bit of a surprise both times. Well, it looks like a smart decision in hindsight because his development has gone perfectly. It looks like the Devils got a steal with the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

He ended the season with two goals and 21 assists for 23 points in 48 games. He also had a remarkable 54.9 CorsiFor%, so you know the Devils were a much better team when he was on the ice at even strength. If he can keep up production like this, and perhaps even improve, they will be looking at a legit top-pair defenseman.

It might not be long before the Devils consider him their number-one defenseman. He is already the go-to guy on the top power-play unit and does wonders for them at even strength. Not a lot of young defensemen are as comfortable playing on the ice with the top forwards on their team and Smith didn’t even slightly look out of place. He can make plays with the best players that the Devils have.

The fact that young kids like Ty Smith, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Yegor Sharangovich, and Jesper Bratt are all going to grow up together on this team is exciting. Smith is one of the more important ones because he is a defenseman. It is very hard to find good young ones like that.

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Smith should be shooting for the stars when he goes to training camp this year. Consistent time on the top pair and top power-play should be his top priority. He has the potential to make magic with some of the guys this team has. If everyone can stay healthy and have a good summer, big things are ahead for them.