New Jersey Devils: Forward 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 forwards have performed at the halfway point.

New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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What a strange season it's been for the New Jersey Devils so far. After a franchise-best 2022-23 season, things have not come together this year. Through injuries, inconsistent play, and whatever words you'd choose to describe the team's goaltending, it hasn't been great. However, at the halfway point, the Devils are still very much in the mix for a playoff spot.

When looking at it individually, there has been a wide array of performances. From career years to possible career killers, there's been a lot to evaluate so far. With school back in session after the holiday break, now is a great time to black (or red) pen and grade these New Jersey Devils forwards in the first half of the season.

Jack Hughes (15G - 30A - 45Pts)

Jack Hughes started the season on fire and had a legitimate shot at the MVP. He had 20 points in just the first nine games. Then, the first injury happened. Hughes missed two weeks after crashing into the boards against the St. Louis Blues. After returning, he pretty quickly found his scoring touch again despite not looking 100%. Hughes still put up 25 points over his next 22 games, but then again, the injury bug hit, and he's been out ever since. His season started so promisingly, yet injuries have continued to derail his season like they have his whole career. That being said, if he comes back soon, he can still push for 80+ points.

Grade: A-

Nico Hischier (11G - 11A - 22Pts)

After a dominant 2022-23, expectations were high for Hischier, and rightfully so. However, just like Jack, Nico missed a good chunk of games in the middle of the season and hasn't found his footing this year. The offense isn't there like it was last year and the defense has regressed from elite to just very good. What makes Hischier so great though is when the scoring isn't there he is doing all the little things that help the team win. Health will be key for him (as well as the entire team) in the second half of the season, and if he can stay on the ice he should be able to surpass his current 60-point pace.

Grade: B

Jesper Bratt (16G - 30A - 46Pts)

Despite getting the "bag" in the offseason, Jesper Bratt has shown no signs of slowing down in 2023-24. He has arguably been the Devils best and most consistent player this season. Bratt is tied for the team lead in goals, assists, and also Expected Goals, as well as being the team leader in points. With so many injuries to key players this year, Bratt has had to carry much of the scoring burden himself and has done so admirably. While he has left some grade-A scoring chances on the table, his production has helped keep the Devils afloat.

Grade: A