March 28, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Look inside the New Jersey Devils

Look inside the New Jersey Devils has been providing in-depth inventory, prospect and fantasy analysis to its 31 teams since November 16-December. 16. Today, the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey Devils off-season additions, players in the pipeline and counting on a new coach to turn their fortunes around.

“Being competitive right now is a very important thing for me,” said General Manager Tom Fitzgerald. “Putting a competitive team on the ice that grows together. Some of our youngest players can use Binghonton (American Hockey League), and while they’m sniffing, we bring them up and give them an NHL flavor.”

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It will work for Lindy Ruff, who was appointed coach to replace Alain Nasreddin on July 9th. Nasr‌ddin, who was named coach when John Hines was fired on December 3, 2019, continues as assistant. Mark Reichi joined Ruff’s crew as an assistant after three seasons in a role similar to that of the Pittsburgh Penguins, working primarily with power play, which ranked third in the NHL during his tenure (23.8 percent).

“I know there is a great foundation built along with management [Fitzgerald]Get into the Stanley Cup playoffs and go from there, owning, building the rest and looking to get this team in the right direction, ”Ruff said.

There are centers in that foundation Nico Hischer, Selected No. 1 in the 2017 NHL Draft‌, and Jack Hughes, No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Hischier will try to bounce back after scoring his NHL-low 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 58 games last season. As an 18-year-old rookie, Hughes is expected to improve after scoring 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 61 games.

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“You need to get under your belt for the first year, especially as a highly skilled offensive player,” Assistant General Manager Dan McKinnon said of Hughes. “We are confident his second year will be good, and his third year will be another phase, so we are looking for good things.”

The Devils have not qualified for the postseason and have made the Stanley Cup playoffs once in the last eight seasons. They hope to include an experienced goalie Corey Crawford, A two-time Stanley Cup winner, can change that.

Crawford agreed a two-year deal on October 9, a day after the goal Corey Schneider Placed on unconditional exemptions for the purpose of purchase. Crawford starts Mackenzie Blackwood.

“The goaltending situation is an albatross for us and a burden on us, so this is the first thing we (in the offseason) will address,” McKinnon said. “You (Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations) should give Martin Brodyur a ton of credit. He and [Fitzgerald] Crawford worked together to make it happen because it was not a slam dunk. It took some selling, hiring. But Marty’s relationship with Corey weighed heavily on it, and the possibility [Crawford] He was appealed to to do some really meaningful work here in a tandem role with Blackwood. “

Also included is the New Jersey Defense Man Ryan Murray Trading with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on October 8; Forward Andreas Johnson Trade ahead with Toronto Maple Leafs Joey Anderson On October 10; And Defense Man Dmitry Kulikov, Signed a one-year contract with Winnipeg Jets on October 22 after three seasons.

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Johnson, who has three seasons left on his four-year contract with Toronto on June 28, 2019, will fit in line with either Hischier or Hughes.

“Like our Pro Scouts [Johnsson]; He has a lot of competition and can track puzzles, “McKinnon said.” He plays a style [Lindy] Aggressive wants to bring to the table with the game, while at the same time hunting for puzzles and forcing objects. ”

Forward opportunity Janne Kukkanen, Traded with Carolina Hurricanes on February 24 and Defenseman Prospect Tie Smith, Pick No. 18 in the 2018 NHL Draft, to be challenged for key roles.

“I think with young players, they want to know that they will be counted on in key situations and that they will be an important part of the team,” Ruff said. “As a coach, it’s my job to help develop it and put them in that position to succeed and at the same time be very demanding on how we play as a team to succeed.”