New Jersey Devils: Things to Look At As NHL Trade Deadline Approaches

Mar 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman PK Subban (76) warms up before playing the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman PK Subban (76) warms up before playing the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Dawson Mercer #18 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Youth Movement

Dawson Mercer

Dawson Mercer had a ridiculous start and cooled off but since joining up with Jack Hughes on the top line, he has once again looked really good. This is in part due to Hughes being so good but also probably an adjustment to the insane length and travel of the NHL plus the physicality level on a younger guy.

With his stats adjusted to the full 82 games, Mercer would be sitting at 19 goals and 47 points which is good for top five on the team. This is from a guy who was not expected to be on the team this fast. Where he slots in the future is in open to anything, but the fact that he can play 3C or slot on the wing with Hughes or Hischier makes him just a little more valuable and in the event of an injury in future seasons he is a guy that can be moved without a huge issue.

The Utica Comets and Alexander Holtz

The Devils finally have a good AHL team which once upon a time I put little stock in but after years of developing nothing it is something my opinion changed on a few years ago. Winning down there will eventually translate at least in a little way to winning up here and the Comets are a top-tier team in the AHL with the second-most wins currently and some players are looking fantastic.

For the sake of making things easier, we will look at Holtz’s stats if he had played 82 games as well and it shows just how good a season he is having being on pace for 48 goals and 93 points. The Devils drafted him for one reason and that is to score goals. He was probably the best sniper in his draft year. Since joining the Comets, he has proven that this is the case. When he comes up next season for good, Holtz should score 20-25 goals in season one and the team should be lining him up in the top 6 immediately.

Next. Devils Lose To Canucks. dark

He is also not the only player on the team having a great year as Fabian Zetterlund is sitting at 41 points in 38 games in his third AHL season and could make a good push for the Devils’ bottom-six next year. On the defensive end, Colton White has been up and downplaying 23 with the big club and Reilly Walsh has 34 points in 51 games. Both of these guys should be in competition for the final spot on the Devils defense core next season which will be up in the air with Subban gone.