Greatest New Jersey Devils player of all time: 8. Kirk Muller
Kirk Muller was one helluva consolation prize. The Devils missed out on Mario Lemieux by one point, but Kirk Muller was the second-overall pick in 1984. He was still an incredibly skilled forward who could be a key contributor to a future contender. Muller joined the Devils the year he was drafted, playing all 80 games in his rookie season. He put up 54 points in a formidable effort on a young team that needed more seasoning.
Muller would play the next seven seasons in New Jersey, putting up great offensive numbers. He had three straight 30-goal seasons from 1987 to 1990. In that 1988 season, when the Devils finally made the playoffs, Muller scored 94 points. It was the first notion he could be a superstar.
This was the start of Devils hockey. Despite his offensive capabilities, Muller never let the defensive side of things fall to the wayside. He became known for his two-way play, and he was even the team’s captain for four seasons. When you look up “heart-and-soul” player in the dictionary, you’ll see Muller in his Devils jersey.
Ever the opportunist, Lamoeriello traded Muller in the middle of a contract dispute before the 1991-92 season. It ended an era of Devils hockey, officially putting the high-scoring 80s in the rearview mirror.