The New Jersey Devils are just a few weeks away from training camp starting. They are less than two weeks away from the prospect tournament against the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. There are a lot of questions surrounding the team, but a large majority of them need a lot of training camp and at least some preseason games to answer. Who will be Dougie Hamilton‘s defensive partner? What will be the Mackenzie Blackwood-Jonathan Bernier split? Who will be Jack Hughes’ and Nico Hischier’s linemates? Will Pavel Zacha play center or wing? Who does Tomas Tatar line up with?
Those questions need the players to hit the ice to answer. There are questions the Devils and the front office can answer while the players are still enjoying their summer vacation.
Are these questions the most important going into the season? Not necessarily, but it has a lot to do with the holes that are still on this roster. The Devils made some serious moves by adding Ryan Graves, Dougie Hamilton, Tatar, and Bernier among others, but there is still a hole at third-line center and the team could use another top-six winger to push some younger players down the lineup.
Tom Fitzgerald had a very busy offseason, but he’s also been going through a lot over the last few weeks with the sudden death of Jimmy Hayes. With that and the usual slow August in the NHL, it’s no surprise things have been quiet in New Jersey since early last month. Now, things will likely ramp up again. So, let’s try to answer some burning questions.