New Jersey Devils: 2023-2024 Defensemen Points Projections

Luke Hughes #43 of the New Jersey Devils on bench against the Carolina Hurricanes prior to the first period of Eastern Conference Game Five of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 11, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images)
Luke Hughes #43 of the New Jersey Devils on bench against the Carolina Hurricanes prior to the first period of Eastern Conference Game Five of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 11, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images) /

New Jersey Devils defenders hold a larger per-player value due to the structure of an NHL roster (6-7 defenders on a 23-man roster). The Devils defensemen are in an interesting place. With the losses of Ryan Graves and Damon Severson, there’s a push towards youth. We will get to Devils prospect Simon Nemec in this article, but there will be a bit of a tempered expectation with a sense he could spend a few months in Utica. We followed the same 82-game pace as we did in our previous forward points projection article.

Kevin Bahl – LHD

Kevin Bahl, the true burly and intimidating youthful Sasquatch of a defenseman, plays a stay-at-home defenseman role. He focuses more on hitting, poke checking, and shot blocking over scoring and passing. He started to unleash his furious fisticuffs later on last season. He does have a really lethal snap and semi-slap shot in his arsenal, but he should utilize it a bit more.

Bahl’s style of play can replace what the Devils were hoping to get from Shakir Mukhamadullin if he adds some offense. With the Russian sniper in San Jose, Bahl still has a spot on the team. However, after an interview with Pucks and Pitchforks’ own Trey Matthews, Bahl mentioned that he is going in this season looking to secure his spot in the lineup and looking to provide stability on defense. It’s clear Bahl isn’t quite done improving his game.

2 goals, 6 assists in 2022-23

4 goals, 11 assists in 2023-24

Dougie Hamilton RHD

It was a banner season for New Jersey Devils fans going to see Hamilton perform on Broad Street, Lafayette, Edison, and Mulberry last season. The Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman absolutely could push for the award with his style of play. He tied Barry Beck’s 1977-78, 22 goals in a single-season franchise record. Of course, Beck did that while the team was in Colorado.

22 goals, 52 assists in 2022-23

20 goals, 59 assists in 2023-24

Luke Hughes LHD

This year for Luke Hughes is roughly harder to project than other defensemen, but he’s gonna be more of a goal scorer than his brother Quinn (Quinn had 8 goals and 53 points in his rookie season). Luke Hughes already has a much better build than his older brother and has very similar edge work. Add that on top of his endurance and blazing-fast speed, and we’re seeing a dynamic defender of epic proportions. Luke Hughes often behaves like a 4th forward and is so young that he will become a very scary two-way defender.

The below stat line makes it possible for a defenseman to topple Connor Bedard in a Calder Trophy battle. Having a storyline of two heralded skaters looking to have a more meaningful season should favor Luke Hughes since his team has playoff aspirations for this season vs. Chicago looking for a lottery year yet again.

1 goal, 1 assist (in 2 games played) in 2022-23

25 goals, 40 assists in 2023-24

John Marino RHD

John Marino was one of the most complete Devils defensemen last season. He showed how well he could play not only in clutch situations in the regular season, but he stepped up in the postseason by creating a blue print to help the Devils succeed going forward.

4 goals, 14 assists in 2022-23

6 goals, 17 assists in 2023-24

Colin Miller RHD 

Colin Miller provides depth on the right side, with an offensive style to go along with his defensive play. He is no stranger to playing a Sasquatch style of hockey. He knows when to play physically in his own end. He has the ability to unleash a heavy shot from the right flank on the power play. His form of hockey will provide ammunition to put pucks on net for the Devils.

6 goals, 15 assists in 2022-23

6 goals, 16 assists in 2023-24

Jonas Siegenthaler LHD

Jonas Siegenthaler is more known for his skills as a Sasquatch-style defenseman going for hits, blocked shots, and creating scoring drives. His leadership is of a Swiss Guard on duty. It bleeds into the style of defenseman he’s become, bringing a sense of reliability on the ice.

4 goals, 17 assists in 2022-23

5 goals, 17 assists in 2023-24

Brendan Smith LHD

It is very unlikely Smith plays all 82 games this season, but he will come up when called upon like last season. He is a veteran leader that helps this team mature into a playoff powerhouse.

0 goals, 5 assists in 2022-23

0 goals, 7 assists in 2023-24

Simon Nemec RHD

We project Simon Nemec will play 61 games this season. He will start in Utica and move on to the NHL the second an opportunity arises. Having multiple defensemen scoring a little more this season makes it a lot harder for opposing teams to beat the Devils. That makes it imperative for Nemec to come up and dominate.

Having a young offensive dynamo in Nemec on the blue line quarterbacking the second power play gives the Devils an advantage they haven’t had in a long time. After Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Siegenthaler finish a shift, Nemec continues the offensive threat, chipping in shots, tiring out opponents, and scoring to keep opponents on their toes.

8 goals, 24 assists in 2023-24 


This will theoretically be one of the strongest groups of defensemen in the league. Having a plethora of defensemen who can facilitate 14-79 points gives the Devils an advantage. If these defensemen hit their strides around that mark, it’ll be a huge success.

Next. Akira Schmid Should Be On The Roster From Day One. dark

A hulking strong defense would be very hard to beat. The aggression and discipline from Kevin Bahl, Jonas Siegenthaler, John Marino, and Colin Miller will provide stability in front of their goaltenders. More teams will realize how brutal trying to evade defenders will be. There will be a mix of old-school hockey but in a more modern rulebook with the way they push and move opponents without clutching or cross-checking a guy on defense that could occur.