3 New Jersey Devils Who Must Step Up Without Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) is checked on by a trainer after slamming in to the boards during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) is checked on by a trainer after slamming in to the boards during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Dougie Hamilton #7 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton has also been great this season. He has four goals and three assists this season. He’s a major reason why the second unit of the power play hasn’t lost a step from the first. Hamilton will be key to keeping the PP rolling with Hughes on the sidelines. They don’t need the power play to score at a 40 percent clip, but to keep it as one of the best units in the league, Hamilton needs to be at his best.

It might mean switching Luke Hughes and Dougie Hamilton. Hughes’ space on the first power play made the most sense when his brother was on the same unit. Without Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton makes the most sense on unit one.

Besides that, Hamilton has to be at his very best at 5v5. He needs to score. That is without a doubt a no brainer if the Devils want to stay high in the standings. Hamilton might be the team’s biggest star with Hughes and Hischier out of the lineup (although Jesper Bratt and Timo Meier would have an argument).

Any extended time with Hughes out of the lineup is going to be hard to survive. Hamilton playing at a Norris Trophy level could certainly help.