3 New Jersey Devils Who Will Set Career Highs In 2023-24

New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New Jersey Devils right wing Timo Meier (96) and New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves (33) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer (91) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New Jersey Devils right wing Timo Meier (96) and New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves (33) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils are coming off one of the best regular-season performances in franchise history. So much went right all at once, and it led to the best regular-season record since the team joined the NHL. Even just thinking about the 40 years of New Jersey Devils hockey, last year didn’t feel like one of those all-time great seasons. However, it was.

Six players hit career highs in 2022-23. That includes Dougie Hamilton, who came very close to breaking Scott Stevens’ franchise record for points by a defenseman. Jack Hughes was successful in beating Patrik Elias‘ franchise record, but he fell short of 100 points. It was a banner year for offense, as the Devils scored 289 goals last season. They were fourth in the NHL.

This season, we expect the offense to keep up the same cadence. In fact, with a better power play, the Devils might score more goals. A few players will break their career high in points, just like last season. We aren’t going for rookies (sorry Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec) or low-hanging fruit (like predicting Jonas Siegenthaler or Nathan Bastian). Who are some players whose breakout is going to lead to a career-high?

New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Jack Hughes
Previous Career High: 99 points

He’s going to break that 100-point threshold finally. Jack Hughes will be the first player to do that who’s worn the Devils crest. This is the true superstar of a team full of them. Hughes is the top player on the team, and he’s still in the early years of his prime. Hughes is 22 years old. He should get better and better every year.

100 points is almost the floor at this point. Hughes should get another 10 points from the power play alone. He won’t have to hold the brunt of the scoring on his line now that the lineup added Tyler Toffoli and Timo Meier full-time. The offense should cook on extreme levels.

Everything points to Hughes jumping into that “top player” territory. Hughes was eighth in Hart Trophy voting, ending up on 54 ballots overall with two second-place votes. He did this while missing four games. There are quite a few reasons Hughes will hit his career high. In fact, we expect him to destroy 99 points.