New Jersey Devils: Defenseman/Goalie Report Cards At The Halfway Point

The New Jersey Devils are 22-16-3 through the first 41 games. Let's check in on how the defenseman and goalies have performed at the halfway point.
New Jersey Devils v Chicago Blackhawks
New Jersey Devils v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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John Marino (2G - 12A - 14Pts)

Similar to Siegenthaler, John Marino has had a bit of a drop-off of his own. His has not been as drastic, but he has not played like the stud he was last year. In Marino's defense, he looks like someone who was greatly affected by the departures of Ryan Graves and Damon Severson. A lot of responsibility was put on Marino this season, and with all the injuries on the backend, those responsibilities have grown more. That being said, Marino has begun to right the ship over the last few weeks, and it looks much more like last season's version of John Marino.

Grade: B-

Simon Nemec (2G -6A - 8Pts)

Probably the biggest surprise of the season has been the development of Simon Nemec. After a shaky preseason, he began the season down in the AHL. But ever since his call-up due to the injury to Dougie Hamilton, Nemec has looked like a star. The expectations were always going to be high for the former second-overall pick, but not too many people could've expected this type of composure from the 19-year-old. Nemec's eight points are not indicative of the impact he has had since coming up. Lindy Ruff has trusted him to play big minutes, and he is already third on the team in TOI, averaging 20:43. There is still plenty for him to learn over the second half of the season, but this kid is a star in the making.

Grade: A-

Kevin Bahl (0G - 5A - 5Pts)

The coaching staff put a lot of trust in Kevin Bahl when they decided to give him the Ryan Graves minutes this season. And while it's harsh to say that it backfired, it certainly hasn't worked out like they expected. Bahl had a nice end of the 2022-23 season and earned a spot in the everyday lineup heading into this year. However, it looks as though it may be just a little too much for him to handle. Bahl fits perfectly into a bottom-pair role when everyone is healthy; there is nothing wrong with that. He should be viewed as a long-term piece for this Devils team, but it looks like they have their answer as to whether or not he's a top-four defenseman.

Grade: C