With the regular season just around the corner, New Jersey Devils preseason hockey has been filled with buzz. Preseason is a time for teams to shift into gear and get the puck moving on their goals for the new season, and the Devils have surely done that, going undefeated in six games.
This season, the Devils seek to back up the hype surrounding the team to prove they’re worthy of being called a Stanley Cup contender. It’s a tall order, but the Devils are up for the task.
This preseason, Devils fans got a glimpse of a strong 2023-24 squad and some prospects who are still developing. So, what have we learned about the team and what to expect this season?
Preseason Takeaways #1: Toffoli-Hughes-Bratt have wicked chemistry
The new addition to the Devils, Tyler Toffoli, is already gelling with the top forwards, especially Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt. Hughes said it best to NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky. “Obviously, me and Bratter have really good chem, and I’ve been playing with him for a while so that’s been good,” Hughes said. “And Toffoli’s fit right in.”
The immediate chemistry of this line has been noticeable. The trio is skating well together and finding each other in the right places on the ice. In a preseason game against the New York Islanders on Monday, Bratt scored a hat trick, and the Toffoli-Hughes-Bratt line combined for eight points. Through six preseason games, Toffoli, Hughes, and Bratt have a combined 21 points, with Bratt leading all players in the NHL as of this writing with nine points.
The Devils expect their top lines to produce a ton of offense this season, especially this one. All three of these players scored 30+ goals last year. Hughes scored 43. Bratt is having a phenomenal preseason, scoring five goals. If this line can carry their chemistry into the regular season, they’re going to start off with a bang. The Devils’ offense is scary.