Power Ranking New Jersey Devils Biggest Roster Decisions This Offseason

The New Jersey Devils have a lot on their plate now that Sheldon Keefe has been hired as head coach. What should Tom Fitzgerald prioritize this offseason to upgrade this roster?
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages
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2. A final partner for Jack Hughes

This might be solved by re-signing Toffoli, but the situation with the salary cap is making that really hard. So, the Devils need to do something to bring in another player to finish off the top six. That could be someone to play the Erik Haula role at a might higher level, basically taking faceoffs for Jack Hughes and then moving to a wing-like position for the rest of the play. It could also be a high-quality winger.

Now, that could be Alex Holtz or Dawson Mercer, but the Devils haven’t shown interest in the past to make that move. Both had a chance to make a major jump in their career, and they played 82 games each, but neither made the third-year jump many hoped. 

That leaves the Devils in a tough spot. They have what looks like the best top-six in the league, but it’s missing one piece. Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt are all fantastic hockey players. They did deal with injury issues last season (minus Bratt), but it seems impossible to have the same kind of injury luck next year. 

After the Toffoli trade, Hughes spent time with Haula, which just isn’t the best use of the team’s best player. Hughes is a star. We’ve seen teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins use their best players to lift other players up, but Hughes is not prime Sidney Crosby yet. The Devils need to set him up for success.