5 First-Time Head Coaching Candidates New Jersey Devils Should Consider

The New Jersey Devils have a lot of candidates to choose from for a head coach, but should they forgo experience for someone who can bring a fresh perspective to the NHL?
2022 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship
2022 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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4. Greg Carvel
Current Job: UMass Head Coach

Another college hockey coach provides a different perspective for the Devils. Greg Carvel won the first NCAA Championship out of the pandemic, taking his UMass Minutemen to the promised land. In 2019, Carvel and Umass was the runner up. So, it’s very possible he could have won the title in 2020. 

What really hurts Carvel’s case is the season UMass put up a season ago. They were not good. Looking at that record will scare Devils fans away.

During Carvel’s career at UMass, which began in 2016-17, he’s put 10 players in the NHL. It doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, but realistically, not many NCAA players go to the show. He is getting the most out of his talent. 

After a rebuilding year in 2022-23, UMass made it back to relevancy this season, getting them back in the NCAA Tournament. They got dispatched by eventual national champion Denver, but this was still a huge accomplishment. To go from where they were coming off their own title to scratching and clawing back to relevancy shows how important a good coach is.

And that’s what Carvel is, and that’s why the Devils should consider him. Do we think he’s going to get the job? Absolutely not. The timing would have many up in arms, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.