5 New Jersey Devils that benefit from Sheldon Keefe hiring

The New Jersey Devils could be one of the top teams in the NHL again if they are smart.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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Luke Hughes will see another level to his game under Sheldon Keefe

Luke Hughes didn't have it badly under Lindy Ruff. He might have had it a little too good. He got a lot of ice time and top power play time.

Of course, this had a little bit to do with the fact that Dougie Hamilton got hurt. Hughes mostly took advantage of his ice because he was a prolific scoring defenseman for being a rookie.

He was nominated for the Calder Trophy which is a great honor but being a big-time point producer is a big reason for that.

He did have a little bit of a dry spell in 2023-24 in the middle of the season but that happens to a lot of young players, especially defensemen. He rebounded nicely and had a great end to the season.

Under Keefe, he should be even better. Keefe's system will likely activate the defense in the offensive zone more which will be a good thing for Luke Hughes.

He will also be harder on these young guys to get the best out of them in the defensive zone. Hughes can use some help in that area.

He will also benefit if all of these forwards are going to be better around him under Keefe. It is going to be exciting to see both Hughes brothers get going in 2024-25.

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