5 New Jersey Devils Players With Biggest Question Marks Heading Into Next Season

Dec 28, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (71) and New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz (10) fist bump a young fan prior to pregame warmups against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (71) and New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz (10) fist bump a young fan prior to pregame warmups against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho and New Jersey Devils wing Ondrej Palat: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

Ondrej Palat

The other half of the Hughes preseason wingers didn’t have a good season, either. However, unlike Holtz, Ondrej Palat isn’t ever going to be taken out of the lineup. He’s making $5 million and was brought in to be the veteran presence (along with Erik Haula).

Last season, Palat had a rough first season away from Tampa Bay. He finished the season with 23 points, a career-low (outside of his 14 games in the lockout-shortened 2013). There was a major groin injury that really derailed his season.

Palat played six games before the injury, and he had three goals. He was proving his worth before the injury, and something just wasn’t the same after he returned in January.

This was probably a result of the injury, but he has to prove that. Palat didn’t deserve to be a top-six forward last season. He doesn’t deserve a spot in the top six this season to start off. If he scores another three goals in the first six games and continues that scoring, then he will force his way into the top six. For now, there are a million questions about what Palat will be for the remaining four years of his contract.