5 New Jersey Devils players who must bring their A-Game after the All-Star Break

The New Jersey Devils have dramatically fallen below expectations this season for a multitude of reasons, so a few players must help them return to form.

Jan 27, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) is congratulated
Jan 27, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) is congratulated / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Nico Hischier must go beyond his consistent play

Nico Hischier sustained an injury earlier this season that kept him out for almost a month, but since then, the Devils captain has found consistent production. In the 29 games since he returned on November 25th, Hischier has 26 points and 11 goals, along with an astounding 18.6 shooting percentage.

The Devils would be better off, though, if Hischier got more aggressive in the defensive zone. Last season, the 2023 Selke finalist recorded 64 takeaways, and the Devils dominated in the Corsi and Fenwick when he was on the ice at 5-on-5, despite an offensive zone starting percentage of just 48.2. If he helps New Jersey reach that kind of productivity again from February until April, they will be far more competitive.

And if there is anyone on this team who needs to bring their A-Game more than anyone else besides Hughes, it’s Nico Hischier. The Devils captain will be that force in the locker room and on the ice who won’t just produce on a nightly basis, but like Hughes, he will elevate his teammates’ play.

It will be great to see a highly-performing Jack Hughes help the team inch closer to what they were advertised to be in 2023-24, but the captain’s guidance will maximize this team’s outlook going forward. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)