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) /
7 of 11
New Jersey Devils
Marek Zidlicky #2 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Greatest New Jersey Devils player of all time: 45. Marek Zidlicky

There are many, many trades in Lou Lamoriello’s history that worked out very, very well. Not many of them happened in the later years of his tenure in New Jersey. It seemed like Lamoriello was trying to hang onto something when it was clear the Devils needed a reset. However, something happened in 2012, when the Devils still had the right collection of assets, that led to one of the most improbable runs in this franchise’s history. Prior to the run, the Devils made a near-deadline move to bring in offensive defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

This seems high for Zidlicky, right? Well, he actually spent parts of four seasons with the Devils. It seems inexplicable, but he was here much longer than just that 2012 run. Zidlicky played two full seasons beyond that, and he started another before being traded at the deadline again. In 2013-14, he scored more than half a point per game. He was incredibly durable for the position especially considering his advanced age.

During the 2012 postseason, Zidlicky averaged 23:47 of ice time per game. He changed his role and put himself in the position to shut players down as much as he was scoring. He immediately did what Peter DeBoer needed from him. In Game 7 against the Florida Panthers, Zidlicky played 36 minutes. That’s insane. He would be the Devils workhorse throughout that postseason, and he’s a big underrated reason why they got as far as they did.

Zidlicky is probably the most surprising name on this list, but he absolutely deserves to be there. He brought a lot to the table in a short time, and in his 214 regular season games, he had 92 points. He did what the Devils needed, and he even changed up his game to fit the narrative.