The New Jersey Devils have a huge offseason ahead of them. 2021-22 was a disaster season filled with injuries, bad play, and horrid luck in a lot of ways. Now, they look toward next year hoping that can be the year that they turn it around.
We saw kids like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt take big steps while other role players showed that they can make an impact as well. We also saw kids come up from the Utica Comets come up and have success as well.
There are going to be a lot of moves that this team makes this summer but it is hard to tell exactly what they are going to do. Of course, it is all going to start with the 2022 NHL Draft as the lottery promised them the second overall pick. It should be fun to watch.
ESPN’s John Buccigross was answering some questions about various NHL topics on Twitter dot com over the weekend and the Devils came up. He answered two questions about New Jersey’s team and the answers to both might interest any fan.
John Buccigross commented on the New Jersey Devils’ offseason on Twitter.
The first question was about the draft and Juraj Slafkovsky. Bucci is under the opinion that the New Jersey Devils should in no way pass on him. According to him, the Montreal Canadiens should take him at pick one instead of Shane Wright.
There would be plenty of scouts that would disagree with that in more ways than one but it is certainly something to think about. If the Devils do end up with this guy, it sounds like they are for sure going to be getting a great player. The fact that he thinks he is better than Wright is where things get interesting.
Someone followed that up with a question about an offseason to-do list. Of course, Bucci brought up drafting Slafkovsky again but also mentioned signing Ilya Mikheyev and putting them both with Jack Hughes.
Mikheyev is a 20-goal scoring free agent that would certainly look good in New Jersey. A playmaker like Jack Hughs could certainly help him tap into even more potential as well. It is another great winger for them to consider.
He also brought up Miles Wood and the goalies. If he is right about him getting healthy, that would be huge for the Devils. As Bucci says, he is mean which is something that the Devils sorely lacked in 2021-22.
If he is out there throwing his weight around and scoring some goals, he can make a big impact. As far as the goalies, there are a lot of things to think about. Mackenzie Blackwood has shown elite flashes but was mostly hurt in 2021-22.
He also wasn’t that good when he did play. Nico Daws is a nice young goalie but he has a lot of development to go. He handed the less than ideal situation that was last season as best as possible. They might need t look elsewhere for more help there.
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This team has a lot of potential in their organization. It is up to them to tap into that and get this team going in the right direction. Some of these suggestions by John Buccigross are certainly ideas to consider if you are the New Jersey Devils’ front office.