50 Greatest New Jersey Devils Players of All Time: Numbers 50-41

Damon Severson #28 and Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Damon Severson #28 and Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Former New Jersey Devils players (L-R) Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and Ken Daneyko (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils have a long, wonderful history in the NHL which includes three Stanley Cup wins. Which players are the best that have ever graced the ice in New Jersey?

We just finished the 40th year of New Jersey Devils hockey. There have been incredible highs with this franchise and devastating lows. This season, the Devils set multiple franchise records, including wins (52) and points (112). The recent lows made this high feel so much better. It has us thinking  Three Stanley Cups, five Stanley Cup Final appearances, 11 Hall of Famers, and the greatest goalie of all time. Overall, Devils fans are lucky.

The Devils came into the league officially in 1982. The legendary Dr. John McMullen brought the franchise to the Garden State from Colorado. It’s the third stop for a franchise that started in Kansas City eight years prior to their move to the Northeast. At the time, there were 21 teams in the league, and expansion was close to a decade away.

Since then, there’s been talk of relocation, which includes a very awkward Gary Bettman interview at the Stanley Cup Final. There have been incredible highs (Henrique, it’s over might be tops among them), and there have been incredible lows (we’d need some time for this one, but the day Zach Parise left has to be at least close to the top).

One thing that unites all Devils fans is the love for this franchise and the love for this sport. The Devils are considered the third team in the New York Metropolitan Area. That makes fans even more ravenous when rooting for them. It started in Brendan Byrne Arena. It eventually evolved into a championship arena in East Rutherford called the Continental Airlines Arena. Now, the games are played at the Prudential Center.

At the peak of it all is the players. We wear their jersey. We scream their name. Some of us wait for hours to get a glimpse of them, and others buy season tickets to spend a little time with them. You’ll still see jerseys around the arena of players who once called this team home. Now, let’s celebrate them and rank them based on their impacts to this franchise. To be clear, we are ranking the players based on their contribution to the Devils only. All active players will be judged based on their contributions to this date as if they retired today.

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Patrik Sundstrom #17 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Greatest New Jersey Devils players Honorable Mention: Patrik Sundstrom

Patrik Sundstrom was another player who had big moments, but his overall impact is tied to those moments. He played five seasons with the New Jersey Devils after he was traded from the Vancouver Canucks. His first season in Jersey wasn’t great. He had just 15 goals and 51 points, 20 points fewer than the season prior. However, something clicked in the playoffs. The Devils made the postseason for the first time in franchise history.

He had a three-point game when the Devils closed out the Islanders. He had three points in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins to push the Eastern Conference Finals to Game 7. However, it was their first home game of the second round that set records. He had eight points in that game. Eight! It put the Devils ahead in the series 2-1, a series they eventually won in seven games. He did that entirely at even strength. Eight points at even strength for a baby Devils team looking to make a statement.

Nobody has ever scored more in one playoff game. Mario Lemieux got to eight himself, but he did it with two power-play points. Wayne Gretzky never did it.

Sundstrom was much better the next two seasons, scoring 28 and 27 goals, respectively. Eventually, injuries broke him down. He turned down a contract from the Devils at 30 years old so he could return to Sweden and finish his career in his home country. That 1988 playoff run and the two seasons after that will always live on in the Devils fans who were here from the beginning.