Greatest New Jersey Devils player of all time: 13. Sergei Brylin
Sergei Brylin might be the ultimate fan favorite for New Jersey Devils fans. There is no Devils fan who has a bad thing to say about Brylin. He spent 13 years with the Devils. He never considered playing for another NHL team (at least as far as we know). When the Devils chose to let him hit free agency, he signed in the KHL and played there for the rest of his career. He was hoping to return in 2011, which would have been fantastic. Maybe his magic would put the Devils over the top in 2012, but we don’t want to think about that.
Brylin is one of five players who played on every Devils Stanley Cup winner. What made him so special was his versatility. He played all three forward positions, and he did it well. Some seasons, he was solely a defensive forward who became essential at stopping the other team from scoring. In other seasons, he could add in his style of offense. He even had a 23-goal, 52-point season in (of course) 2000-01.
The numbers might not jump off the stat sheet, but Brylin’s impact was felt across the ice and the locker room. He was a leader. He played the game the right way. Say all the common tropes for proper hockey players. They all can be used for Brylin. He was exactly what a championship team needs, and that is why every Devils championship team had him on the roster.