As the New Jersey Devils’ season ends, fans can look forward to the off-season. The Devils currently have a 24-37-5 record with 53 points, placing them in last place in the Metropolitan Division. With 16 games left, the season is virtually over.
Next on the agenda for Devils fans is the coming off-season. This organization needs some changes to be competitive again. They last made the playoffs in 2018 and have not won a playoff series since 2012. The New York Rangers were the last team the Devils beat in a playoff series, which is a nice consolation for some fans.
In this article, I will outline things to look for in the off-season for the Devils.
The Devils have many issues that need to be addressed in the goalie department. The team is 29th in the league in GAA, as they allow 3.56 goals per game. They have also managed to give up 235 goals this season, which is the fourth-highest total in the league. Additionally, they boast a team save percentage of .890, which is slightly better than the last place Seattle Kraken.
The Devils have played four goalies, who each appeared in 10 or more games this season. The group is inconsistent, with nobody playing exceptionally well.
Mackenzie Blackwood was expected to be the primary keeper for the Devils this season and has had some success. He is responsible for both shutouts this season, yet he holds a 3.29 GAA. Also, his save percentage sits at .894 in 23 appearances.
The team and individual, stats in goal for the Devils have been unacceptable this season. The Devils will surely be in the market for a new keeper, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are shopping for a new goalie coach as well.
The Devils have some key players who will be needing contract extensions once this season ends. Jesper Bratt, arguably the Devils’ best player, is up for a new contract this off-season.
Bratt has improved in virtually every important offensive category this season. Bratt is second on the team in goals and first in points. He is only two goals behind Jack Hughes but has eleven more points than him this season.
This success will make it challenging to resign Bratt. He will be an expensive piece due to his production, but one that should be retained.
Earlier this season I wrote an article about what to expect at the trade deadline for the Devils. With a multitude of potential options, very little was done by General Manager Tom Fitzgerald. I mention this because Devils fans may be in for a very underwhelming off-season.
It is no secret that the Devils need to make moves if they want to compete next season. However, Fitzgerald needs to be active this off-season for that to happen.
The New Devils should have lots of cap space entering this off-season, so fans can only hope that Fitzgerald puts that money to good use.