New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Who Could Surprisingly Make Roster

Simon Nemec #5 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)
Simon Nemec #5 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils seem like they are done making moves for this offseason. Maybe they will sign a PTO here or there, but this is largely the roster we’re looking at for opening night. There are some roster spots up for grabs, and there can be a few surprises along the way.

Over the years, there have been some huge surprises who made the roster. Some were PTOs, like Jimmy Vesey in 2021. Others have been rookies like Jesper Bratt in 2017. There have been some members of the opening lineup that made people mad (Blake Coleman comes to mind in 2017, but then he fought Tom Wilson and drank pickle juice in the penalty box, and the rest is history).

Also remember, making the opening night roster isn’t exactly everything it appears. The Devils added Simon Nemec to the roster last season, but he never played an NHL game. This season, it could be different. He leads out list of surprise players who could make the opening night roster.

New Jersey Devils
Simon Nemec shakes hands with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Simon Nemec

This one might not seem like a surprise on paper, but Nemec has an uphill climb to make the roster. The Devils added Colin Miller this offseason, which will end up being a really good move. That also gives the Devils seven NHL defenseman on the roster not including Nemec.

To make the roster, Nemec either has to be undeniable, and then he’d take Miller’s spot, or someone needs to get hurt. Nemec is going to be the first call up when a right-handed defenseman gets hurt. He could make the roster right out the gate. He has a good chance to destroy teams in the preseason. Especially if he grows a partnership with someone like Kevin Bahl, then it would be hard to keep him off the roster.