How much did winning the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery speed up the rebuild in New Jersey? The Devils have missed the playoffs in each of the five seasons following their 2012 trip to the Stanley Cup Final, yet there’s finally a sense of optimism surrounding this franchise.
Only two teams (Avalanche, Canucks) scored fewer goals than the Devils in 2016-17 and only five teams (Avalanche, Stars, Coyotes, Jets, Red Wings) allowed more goals against, which meant Ray Shero was going to be a busy man in the summer.
While some teams got worse over the off-season and others remained stagnant, Shero ensured the Devils got better—at least on paper.
Shero packaged a pair of extra 2018 draft picks the team had to acquire top-six forward Marcus Johansson, a significant upgrade to Mike Cammalleri after the team decided to buy out the final two years of the veteran’s contract.
In free agency, signing two-way centre Brian Boyle and four-time 20-goal scorer Drew Stafford adds some needed depth and veteran leadership to the forward group.
Shero also bolstered a blue line that was in dire need of some upgrades, as you’ll see below.
UP-AND-COMING PLAYER TO WATCH
This is a no-brainer, it’s Nico Hischier. No player shot up …read more
Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sport