New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Team Can’t Afford To Get Injured

Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (71). (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /

Jonas Siegenthaler

The Devils are stacked on the right side of the defense. Dougie Hamilton is the top guy on the defense, but the drop off from Hamilton to Damon Severson or even John Marino isn’t that steep. And if Hamilton does get hurt, that might mean the NHL debut of Simon Nemec. However, on the other side, the depth isn’t as fluid.

Jonas Siegenthaler is the best left-handed defenseman on the Devils’ roster. He was one of the best defensive defensemen in the league last season. This year, he’s expected to continue that growth. He will likely start the season with Hamilton at his side. Siegenthaler allows Hamilton to take a few more risks. Without him as a partner, Hamilton has to play more conservatively.

If Siegenthaler ever gets hurt for a significant period of time, that’s really going to put the Devils in a bind. Ryan Graves will have to step up in a top-line role. That would likely be fine, but it would also catapult Kevin Bahl into a second-line role before he’s ready. It also thrusts Brendan Smith into the lineup every night. It might also push Nikita Okhotyuk into the lineup every so often.

Siegenthaler is a crucial part of this team’s success. The defense is expected to be a strength after years of being the biggest weakness. The Devils want to keep as many pucks away from its goalies as possible. Siegenthaler helps that more than anyone else. Speaking of goalies…