New Jersey Devils: Mid-season Reviews

The New Jersey Devils season has not gone as planned. How do the players grade out individually?

Jan 19, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman John Marino (6) celebrates his goal
Jan 19, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman John Marino (6) celebrates his goal / Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
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It is that time of year again. Let's take a look at the New Jersey Devils as individuals with a big enough sample size to get a real feel for how they are doing. There have been many surprises, good and bad, on this team, so let's go ahead and rate how things have been with the usual disclaimer that ratings are based on play as well as expectation. On top of that, we wish a speedy recovery to number one defender Dougie Hamilton, who will not be rated since his season ended at game 20, and we all are excited to see him back in action in the playoffs or next season.

Jack Hughes
GP: 32 G: 15 A: 30 PTS: 45
Mid Season Rating: A

When Healthy Jack Hughes has done his thing offensively, he really drives this team even though they have other stars and a way deeper team. They were not the same when he missed time early, and opponents look like they are finding it easy to slow this roster down now that he is out again. The Devils need his drive and, honestly, just his confidence and swagger on the ice in a big way. That being said, he has gotten way more frustrated with some things this season, which knocked him down to an A versus an A+. He needs to stop trying to force plays and take the time to reset because, most of the time, giveaways kill this team, and he is responsible for too many of them. The second thing is the yelling at the refs and showing frustration too often. Is the NHL refereeing terrible? Yes, but having your best player get knocked off his game can only hurt this team and they really need him to be focussed on the things he can control.

Jesper Bratt
GP: 43 G: 16 A: 30 PTS: 46
Mid Season Rating: A+

Jesper Bratt continues to just be Jesper Bratt, and there is not a lot more to add than that, fortunately. He is looking at his first 82+ point season, and he has been playing a 200-foot game, unlike most of the roster. The team is lucky to have him for a long time and on a good contract.

Tyler Toffoli
GP: 43 G: 16 A: 13 PTS: 29
Mid Season Rating: B+

Tyler Toffoli was brought in to score goals and score goals he has. While it is unfortunate for the Devils that Yegor Sharangovich has 19 goals in Calgary (three more than Toffoli), that has nothing to do with the team's new player. That being said, Toffoli can disappear a bit (like most goal-scorers) when he isn't getting shots. The difference is noticeable without Hughes on his line. He is currently on pace for a 30-goal season, though, which is what this team wanted and needed. His 55-point pace is good, but he will certainly not be matching that outlying career season with the Flames at this rate.