GP: 14 G: 5 A: 6 PTS: 11
Timo Meier has a good number of points this year, but he has not been that impressive. He doesn’t drive the play at all and is mid-tier defensively. While he has been successful offensively, which is what he is here to do, he has relied a bit too much on teammates to get him some easy points.
That being said, the biggest problem so far is the physical side of the game. The Devils needed to get bigger, stronger, harder to play against. On top of points, this was something he was supposed to bring. While it would be fun to see him knock guys out like Anton Volchenkov used to do, that is asking too much from the modern NHL. However, a guy who has Meier’s build and was described as a bull coming onto this team last season should at least push some guys out of the way and lay the small hits on the boards.
He is a very tough guy, but his physicality looks more like it is just about him taking big hits and getting sticked in the face every other game. The team desperately needs him to just bring more intensity.
GP:20 G:8 A:17 PTS:26
Jesper Bratt signed long-term and Devils fans breathed a sigh of relief this offseason, but already only one season in, we should be very thankful that he is under $8 million per season and could have easily been looking at $10+ million on the open market. He continues to drive the play and put up points; on pace for 33 goals, 70 assists, and 103 points, which would make him either the first or second Devil in history to do that depending on Hughes’ performance this year. That is incredible to think about after this team waited for decades to get just one. On top of that, he has been relentless on the back check and his defensive play never gets enough credit around the league. It is just massive to have him and Hischier so good on both ends of the rink.
GP: 20 G: 2 A: 8 PTS: 10
Ondrej Palat was a contract that many gave flak on day 1, saying it was way too long and an overpay. As we sit here in year 2, fans have turned him into the team’s whipping boy already. He has managed to get some points as of late, but it looked like he might be on pace to score about 20 points the whole season for a while. He was making some surprisingly bad plays for a usually good two-way veteran guy who shouldn’t be done yet. Fortunately, like most of the team, he has turned it on lately though and if it continues could have a solid season. The best place for him is probably on the third line.
GP: 20 G: 11 A: 9 PTS: 20
Tyler Toffoli has been the team’s best scorer, looks dangerous from anywhere on the ice, and the team got him for Yegor Sharangovich and a 3rd-round pick which looks like a great trade right now. He had chemistry right away with Bratt and Hughes which sometimes can take a long time to build. The addition of him has given this team the top 6 we dreamed of and he was the perfect addition.