September 3, 2017, 11:55 AM ET [5 Comments]
New Jersey Devils Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell
The New Jersey Devils have struggled to score goals for years. Part of that has been due to their low-event style of play but talent, or lack thereof, has been a big factor as well.
With so many talented young forwards in the system like Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha, Michael McLeod, Jesper Boqvist, Blake Speers, and Joey Anderson, among others, scoring shouldn't be an issue much longer -- at least to the extent it has been -- but they probably won't score as much as people think next season.
With Travis Zajac out of the picture for the foreseeable future, the Devils will head into camp with just four established forwards capable of producing even 35 points on a yearly basis (Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Marcus Johansson and Adam Henrique). Nico Hischier sure seems like a good bet to surpass that plateau but it's not a given.
In order for the Devils to be a remotely decent offensive team, they'll need a lot of first and second-year pros (like Hischier, Pavel Zacha, John Quenneville, and Miles Wood, among others) to produce on a consistent basis.
There's only one problem: that's very tough to do.
Last season, for example, only 20 *players* in their rookie or sophomore season reached 35 points. That group also included some much older players like Artemi Panarin, Conor Sheary, and Nikita Zaitsev, all of whom played with elite offensive talents and/or on high-event, offensive teams.
The Devils aren't exactly overflowing with high-end offensive players or quality puck movers, and they play a low-event style, so a tough task will be made even tougher.
I think Hischier and Zacha can hit that mark, but it's probably unrealistic to expect anyone else to do it.
Should that be the case, the Devils offense will go through its share of struggles this season.