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
Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Jesper Bratt

Jesper Bratt is the second-leading scorer on the Devils, but he is the third-leading scorer in the NHL. Only Jack Hughes and Elias Pettersson have more than Bratt’s 18 points. Can he keep at this pace without Hughes? He needs to if the Devils are going to get out of this still in an enviable position in the standings.

Bratt legit looks like a much better player this season. He’s dominating his ice time. His puck possession is next level, and he’s starting to shoot the puck more.

However, Bratt went pointless for the first time since Opening Night on Friday. The Hughes injury definitely loomed large. Although, the Devils weren’t without their opportunities. A few net-front shots didn’t get passed Jordan Binnington. Bratt has to pull a Hughes, taking over the game and scoring ridiculous goals or making ridiculous passes that lead to goals. Bratt has the talent and ability to replace the production.

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The hope has to be that Hischier and Hughes return soon. The Devils can’t survive too long without the both of them. Bratt can help. Hamilton and Haula can help. However, without an outside option, the Devils will be in trouble if this is all they can rely on for weeks or months.