New Jersey Devils: How Many Players Will Score 30 Goals Next Season?

New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and center Jack Hughes (86) celebrate their victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and center Jack Hughes (86) celebrate their victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils are bursting with scoring potential. Last season, the Devils finished the season with four 30+ goal scorers: Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Timo Meier (between the San Jose Sharks and the Devils). This offseason, they added another 30-goal scorer in Tyler Toffoli. These five players have the capability to hit the 30-goal threshold every season.

Hughes thrived in the 2022-23 season. Not only did he hit 30 goals for the first time, he also reached 40. Hughes scored 43 goals in 78 games. He tallied 99 points in the regular season, and if he hadn’t missed four games, the Devils could have had the first 100-point player in franchise history. They might have one next season.

Hughes now holds the franchise’s single-season points record. The 22-year-old star center hasn’t even peaked yet. Expect him to continue blossoming into a superstar and one of the faces of the NHL.

Like Hughes, Timo Meier broke the 40-goal threshold last season. It was the third time in his NHL career that he scored 30 or more goals in a season. Meier was traded to the Devils ahead of the 2023 trade deadline. A full season with the Devils where he can build up chemistry with his teammates all season long could lead to another big season for Meier.

Last season, Nico Hischier hit 30 goals in a season for the first time in his career. Hischier is known as a two-way forward with tremendous defensive upside. The captain received his first nomination for the Selke Trophy in 2023. It shouldn’t be long before he takes home the trophy for best defensive forward. On the offensive side, Hischier hit 80 points in the 2022-23 season.

Jesper Bratt also scored 30 goals for the first time in 2022-23. He came close the previous season with 26 goals. Armed with a new long-term deal, Bratt looks to continue tallying points next season. As they approach their prime, Hischier and Bratt can hit 30 again, although Hischier is probably more likely to get there than Bratt. Playing in the Devils’ loaded top-six means that Bratt should keep racking up assists, as well.

Tyler Toffoli has scored 30+ goals in a regular season twice in his career. The first time was with the Los Angeles Kings in 2015-16 and the second time was last season with the Calgary Flames. Toffoli has come close a few other times, as well, regularly scoring 20+.

Is Toffoli likely to hit 30 goals again next season? It’s not as likely as some of his teammates such as Hughes and Meier. Toffoli had a career high 73 points last season. It would be tough to replicate that, especially since he’s reached the end of his prime years.

There’s one player who hasn’t yet hit 30 goals who could get there this coming season. Dawson Mercer scored 27 goals in 2022-23. He had an eight-game scoring streak and a twelve-game point streak. Mercer scored 10 more goals in 2022-23 than he did in his first season in 2021-22.

As his star is rising, Mercer could have an even bigger year in 2023-24. At just 21-years-old, he hasn’t reached his prime yet. There’s a lot more potential he can unlock in the coming years.

Could anyone else on the team realistically reach 30 goals? Probably not, but never say never. Surprises tend to pop up throughout the season.

The New Jersey Devils have six players who are capable of scoring 30 goals in a season. These players make up the Devils’ possible top-six. How many of them will reach 30 or more goals in the 2023-24 season? While all six could do it, realistically, it’s more likely that four or five of them do. Scoring 30 goals requires the players stay healthy for the duration of the season and maintain the same production as last year or higher.

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It’s been a long time since the Devils had this many players who are offensive threats to this degree. What will the Devils get out of these players next year if all are healthy for the full season? Predictions here: Hughes will score 40+ goals again. Hischier, Meier, and Mercer will each score 30+ goals. Bratt and Toffoli will land somewhere around 25. All in all, there will be a lot of goals from the top forwards.

Expectations for the team are much higher than last year, but this group is ready to take on the pressure. It will be exciting to see which Devils reach 30 goals next season. We believe it will be four, but it could be as many as six!