The New Jersey Devils season is over, and we brought on the Pucks and Pitchforks writers to tell us what they thought about how it all went down.
Question 1: Who is a player who exceeded your expectations this season?
Nick Villano-Site Editor: I will start with the obvious. I had semi-high hopes for Jesper Bratt, but putting up north of 70 points in 76 games is phenomenal. He’s a true part of this team’s core, and he is one of the few things that actually have us excited for next season.
Dan Rice-Beat Reporter: Definitely, Jonas Siegenthaler – who played bigger minutes than I anticipated and excelled, and also Dawson Mercer – who I didn’t think would make the team and will play in all 82 as an 18-year-old. Siegenthaler moved ahead of Smith on the depth chart, which I didn’t have on my bingo card.
Vinnie Parise-Head Writer: Jesper Bratt was that guy for me. I knew how good Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes could be and they are only getting better. However, I did not see Bratt reaching these offensive heights.
Luke Garrison-Staff Writer: The player that exceeded my expectations was Yegor Sharangovich. Usually, sophomore slumps happen with a lot of players. Seeing Sharangovich having a fantastic season shows the type of potential he could be a Devils superstar in the future.
Charlie Borges Jr.-Staff Writer: The easy answer here is Jesper Bratt, so I’ll go with someone else. Yegor Sharangovich has been good but not great for the Devils this season. He started off slow and looked to have a sophomore slump, but has been much better and surpassed his rookie season last year.
Rob DeLuca-Staff Writer: Yegor Sharangovich. As stated in the writing team preseason I had called this from a mile away. After a slow start, Sharangovich reunited with Jack Hughes and completely took off. Hughes was just too easy of an answer that’s no fun. Sharangovich did exactly what I expected and became SharanGOALvich.
David Holiday-Staff Writer: Andreas Johnsson. While I expect the answer here for most to be the stars like Bratt, Hughes, and Hischier, I did think they would move forward in their games whereas Johnsson I expected to be off this team. He had a bad first year but playing with Mercer early really got him going and even though at the end of the year he tailed off so did the whole franchise and he is still the guy who ended up doing far better than expected in my eyes.
Jeremy Goldstein-Rookie Staff Writer: I really loved what I saw this season for Jonas Siegenthaler. While the offense did make plenty of strides, I think Siegenthaler emerged as one of the more important young pieces of the Devils this season. If he can continue to be both flexible and available his shot-blocking ability will be one of the Devils’ defense’s most valuable assets.
Derek Fleming-Rookie Staff Writer: Who is a player who exceeded your expectations this offseason? Jonas Siegenthaler. Last season, the few games he played with the Devils he looked okay at times, but also terrified when it came to making a breakout pass. Not only did he improve on breakout passes, but became a shutdown defenseman.
Sam Woo-Let’s Go Devils Podcast Host: Nico Daws. When the 2021-22 NHL season began, Daws was two years away from seeing him at the NHL level and was called in as a full-time emergency goaltender to fill the void of Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier both being out with significant injuries. He filled in admirably after having a stellar start with the Utica Comets. He has done a lot in his first professional season in North America. That is a big ask and he performed well under the circumstances. The kid has a bright future with the Devils.