The New Jersey Devils have been struggling this season, and that leads to some players having trouble living up to expectations. Certain players came into the season with a certain expectation, and they are just not where the Devils or its fanbase wants them to be at this point. Sometimes injuries really impacted their play, or maybe they just never really hit the right notes on the offense or defense.
There are some players who clearly need work. We’re about 60 percent through the season, so the Devils know what they got in the lineup. With Dawson Mercer fitting on Jack Hughes top line, it’s really helped head coach Lindy Ruff put together a lineup that will last. It also helps that players are coming back from injury and the Devils are close to a full lineup.
What’s the future look like for these five struggling New Jersey Devils players?
It also makes it glaringly obvious when a player is underperforming when the Devils have their full lineup. Most of the offense is rocking and rolling. So when a player isn’t playing well, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile, the defenders who are struggling always stick out. Their mistakes lead to goals more often than not. So, when they make a mistake, we see it pretty clearly.
Most of these players are signed beyond this season, or at the very least the Devils control their rights. That means the Devils have to figure out what to do with them next. Is everyone going to automatically get a qualifying offer? Will the Devils look to move them? Is this a simple slump? Let’s look at five Devils players who really struggled this season and see what’s next for them.