Jack Hughes just tied the record for most points in a season by a New Jersey Devils player. When looking at this historically, where does Hughes season rank all time in terms of offensive domination?
Jack Hughes needs one point over the next two games to break Patrik Elias’ 22-year record for points in a season in a New Jersey Devils uniform. Elias has long been known as the best offensive season in team history, but there are a lot of players who can stake claim to that title. There were the run-and-gun 80s, where multiple players were scoring in bunches. The dynasty years had a surprising amount of offensive superstars.
The Devils have been moving closer to offensive juggernaut during this most recent rebuild. They’ve prioritized scoring and playmaking. Since taking Nico Hischier first overall in the NHL Draft, they’ve used their own pick to take Hischier (a two-way center who has 77 points this season), Ty Smith (an offensive defenseman), Jack Hughes (a supreme offensive center), Alexander Holtz (a sniper), Luke Hughes (an offensive defenseman), and Simon Nemec (an offensive defenseman). There will be better offensive seasons upcoming, but let’s see who are the great offensive seasons as of this point.
1987-88 Pat Verbeek: 46 goals, 31 assists, 77 points
Pat Verbeek was one of the original greats for those early Devils teams. Between he and Brendan Shanahan, the Devils had this great offensive core. Verbeek hit his Devils peak in 1987-88. He had some incredible performances, including a four-goal performance against the Minnesota North Stars. He led the Devils to their first-ever playoff appearance.
1990-91 John MacLean: 45 goals, 33 assists, 78 points
There are so many John MacLean seasons to choose from. He was an offensive dynamo that held the career points record until Elias passed him. We chose the 1990-91 season because of what he meant to the team. That’s why he got a third-place Hart Trophy vote (the only one of his career). He had the most offensive point shares (6.6 according to Hockey Reference). It was hard not to put 1988 when he scored an overtime goal to send the Devils to the playoffs, but this one was slightly better overall.
1993-94 Scott Stevens: 18 goals, 60 assists, 78 points
Scott Stevens is now known as a defensive stalworth. His hits are legendary, and he was clearly a player who could adjust to his surroundings. He was once one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. He still has three of the top five points scored in a season by a Devils defenseman. His best was his 60-assist season in 1993-94. It still stands as the Devils’ assist record amongst all players. However, it falls just short of making this list.
2000-01 Alexander Mogilny: 43 goals, 40 assists, 83 points
Future Hall of Famer (he better be) Alexander Mogilny had an incredibly successful first run with the Devils. It only lasted two years, but the second year was amazing. He scored 43 goals, leading the best offensive team in Devils’ history. If Elias wasn’t on this list, Mogilny likely would be. It was a sight to see, but Elias was just a smidge better.