New Jersey Devils End of the Season Report Cards: Forwards

The New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs and finished the season with a 38-39-5 record. Let's check in and grade the Devils forwards after a disappointing season.
New Jersey Devils v Seattle Kraken
New Jersey Devils v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Timo Meier (GP 69 - 28G - 24A - 52P)

"Timo Time" looked like it was referring to a countdown until Meier's contract ran out in eight years, but once he got healthy, he showed us why he is a huge part of the core. Meier's season was very stop-and-start due to injuries, similar to Jack's, and it took him a long time to get going. However, once he got healthy and hit his stride at the end of February, he was one of the hottest scorers in the league. He scored 28 points in the last 24 games of the season, which includes 17 goals. In the last third of the season, Meier showed off his power-forward playstyle, which will be so important for the Devils next season and in the playoffs. If the Devils can get that Timo Meier for all 82 games plus playoffs next season, there may not be a player more difficult to stop.

Grade: B

Dawson Mercer (GP 82 - 20G - 13A - 36P)

It was a very disappointing 2023-24 for Dawson Mercer after his breakout season in 2022-23. He has always been a streaky player, but Mercer struggled mightily to find hot streaks this season. He looked lost at times defensively and made a lot of unforced errors that we hadn't seen out of him up to this point. However, hitting the 20-goal mark again was a big accomplishment, but even greater was him putting together another 82-game season. He's been a model of durability, playing all 246 games to start his career. It will be interesting to see what his contract will look like this summer and how he bounces back with a new coach next season.

Grade: C

Erik Haula (GP 76 - 16G - 19A - 35P)

Erik Haula is one of the more peculiar Devils to evaluate from this season. He didn't have the greatest on-ice impacts and finished at -5.3 Goals Above Expected, yet he finished with more goals in fewer games this year. While it's not the best stat to determine success, he did finish with one of the best +/- on the team with a -1. Also, Haula once again found himself strapped to Jack's hip for most of the season, and Jack's lack of dominance could play a factor in why Haula went quiet for stretches. The hope is next season, he can finally settle into the 3C role he was brought in and subsequently extended for. It was by no means a bad season for Haula; it was just not a good one either.

Grade: C+