New Jersey Devils: 3 Reasons to be Optimistic About 2024-25 Season

Following a disappointing 2023-24 season, the New Jersey Devils will try to bounce back in 2024-25. Here are three things we're looking forward to next season.
Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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The New Jersey Devils were the most disappointing team in the NHL in 2023-24. While there are teams finishing below them in the standings, none of them were expected to finish near the top of their division. They weren't labeled as potential contenders like the Devils. Heading into the season, it seemed like the Devils were poised to take another step forward. Instead, they’re missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It hurts to be a Devils fan right now. Missing the playoffs is never fun, but with high expectations, it feels like an even worse blow than if they hadn’t been expected to have a good season. The Devils have a very talented roster that wasn’t able to put it all together for a variety of reasons, such as injuries, coaching decisions, goaltending, and more. Tom Fitzgerald should have a good idea by now of what changes need to be made to push this team back into the playoff picture next season. 

Despite the disappointment, there are many to look forward to next season. Here are three reasons to be optimistic about the 2024-25 season.

1. Stars return to health

The Devils had a lot of injuries in the 2023-24 season. Despite putting up respectable numbers while on the ice, Jack Hughes was not himself for most of the season. He missed time in November after re-injuring his shoulder and then missed more time in January. Hughes continued playing to help his team make a playoff push, but he just looked off. A sign of him still being injured was playing wing and not returning to center.

Hughes fought through the injury all season long. With the Devils out of playoff contention, his season ended a little early upon the announcement that he would undergo shoulder surgery. The hope is that next season, after rehabbing from surgery, a healthy Hughes will be back to elite form.

Dougie Hamilton was missing from the Devils lineup for most of the season due to injury. He had surgery for a torn pectoral muscle at the end of November. The offensive defenseman’s absence has greatly affected this team. His experience is a huge plus for the Devils. He has a penchant for coming through in big moments.

Hamilton’s presence on the power play is a difference maker, so the Devils suffered without him in that role. Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec aren't at the level of Hamilton, at least not yet. With a healthy Hamilton back in the lineup next season, the blue line and the power play will get a boost.