The New Jersey Devils 2023-24 roster could undoubtedly be one of the best in the NHL. With a lot of young core talent and some of the best veterans who know the game and still have a lot of talent left, there is no doubt the Devils have a product they can look forward to this season.
However, not every player is perfect and will get pressured to prove themselves as mainstays. Some players are still looking to become part of the primary team, while others hope they can improve and fix whatever issues are holding them back. Here are a few players that need to prove themselves for this season.
Alex Holtz is an exciting prospect who has been in the organization for three years. He’s been trying to make the NHL roster since coming to North America in 2021. In the last two seasons, he has three goals and three assists for six points total in 28 games. Holtz got his first NHL goal in the opening game against the Flyers last year. Despite that, each year ends up with him being in Utica to finish the year.
While he’s succeeded in Utica, this season will focus on him trying to get on the roster for an entire season. There are excellent hopes that he will do so. Holtz’s development has been outstanding over the past few seasons. His shot (which in the draft was one of his strengths) continues to be great, whether it be a wrist shot or a slap shot. He’s getting more involved in the play by getting chances, and in this preseason alone, he already has two goals.
That leaves one question. If Holtz does make the roster, what line could he play on? From what we’ve seen so far, he could end up being linemates with Timo Meier and Nico Hischier. When they are all on the ice together, they make some solid chances, and each of them adds a lot of scoring opportunities. Because both Meier and Hischier are now long-term veterans, they can help the young guy prove himself to be a solid RW for the team for the next several years. Ultimately, it’s up to Holtz to showcase himself as a talented NHLer, so this season, he needs to showcase that if he ends up on the roster by opening night.