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New Jersey Devils 2020-21Season Recap

The New Jersey Devils finished the season with a record of 19-30-7 which was second last in the East Division. Although the Devils haven’t been amazing this season, they exceeded expectations and improved as a team. The Devils were led by first year GM Tom Fitzgerald and new head coach Lindy Ruff and the team grew as a whole. The Devils ended the season with one of the youngest teams in NHL History and have established a great young core in New Jersey.

Season Recap

The Devils started off the season really well, with a record of 4-3-2 in the month of January. That initial success came to a halt when almost the entire Devils roster was infected with Covid-19. Once the Devils came back from Covid, they started off well with two straight wins but it came crashing down with the Devils losing 12 out of their next 14 games. The Devils dropped far in the standings and were close to the bottom of the league They picked up some wins towards the end of March but in April they lost 13 out of a 14 game stretch. The Devils began to pick up wins in the last stretch of games but it was too little too late. The Devils ended up with 45 points, putting them 2nd last in the division and 3rd last in the NHL, behind the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres.

2020-21 Stats

 

PlayerGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints
Pavel Zacha50181835
Jack Hughes56112031
Jesper Bratt4672330
Yegor Sharangovich54161430
Janne Kuokkanen5081725
Miles Wood5517825
Ty Smith4822123
Damon Severson5631821
P.K Subban4451419
Travis Zajac*3371118
Kyle Palmieri*348917
Michael McLeod529615
Ryan Murray4801414
Andreas Johnsson505611
Will Butcher2311011
Nico Hischier216511
Nick Merkley272810
Nathan Bastian413710
Mikhail Maltsev33639
Jesper Boqvist28437
Sami Vatanen*30246
Nikita Gusev*20235
Matt Tennyson21123
Connor Carrick11112
Marian Studenic8112
Dmitry Kulikov*38022
Nolan Foote6112
Kevin Bahl7022
Tyce Thompson7011
Colton White2000
A.J Greer1000
Jonas Siegenthaler8000

 

PlayerRecordGAA (Goals Against Average)SV% (Save Percentage)
MacKenzie Blackwood14-17-43.04.902
Scott Wedgewood3-8-33.11.900
Aaron Dell1-5-04.14.857
Eric Cormie*1-0-03.00.909

 

* = No longer on the team

 

Devils Team Awards

 

Art Ross Award (most points): Pavel Zacha, 35 points (On pace for 58 points in an 82 game season)

Runner Up: Jack Hughes, 31 points (On pace for 46 points in 82 games)

 

Pavel Zacha had a breakout season, breaking his career high in goals and points in a 56 game season. In a normal 82 game season, he was on pace for 58 points which would have crushed his career high. 

Just behind him is Jack Hughes who had a breakout second season, easily beating his point marks from his rookie year.

 

Hart Trophy (most valuable to the team): Jack Hughes

Runner Up: MacKenzie Blackwood

 

In his sophomore season, Jack Hughes had a huge impact on the Devils offensively and defensively. Without him, the Devils’ offense would have been horrible.

Despite his struggles in the second half of the season, after he recovered from Covid-19, Blackwood stole many games for the Devils this year.

 

 

Norris Trophy (best defensemen): Damon Severson

Runner Up: Ty Smith 

 

Severson has been the best overall defensemen for the Devils this season which is why the Norris Trophy should go to him.

In a close second place is Ty Smith who had a very good rookie year, but his defensive game puts him narrowly behind Severson.

 

Calder Trophy (best rookie): Yegor Sharangovich

Runner Up: Ty Smith

 

The Devils were loaded with rookie talent this year, but Yegor Sharangovich has made the case for being the best rookie. He had an impressive 30 points in his rookie year which is tied 3rd on the Devils.

Ty Smith is just behind him, but Smith’s late-season injury, allowed for Sharganovich to take the Calder Trophy.

 

Vezina Trophy (best goaltender): MacKenzie Blackwood

Runner Up: Scott Wedgewood

 

The Vezina Trophy was a no-brainer as MacKenzie Blackwood takes home that award, despite his underwhelming performance this year. When healthy, Blackwood played phenomenal for the Devils.

Wedgewood is the clear runner-up, being the backup to Blackwood this season.

 

Selke Trophy (best defensive forward): Nico Hischier

Runner Up: Jack Hughes

 

Despite being injured for most of the season, Nico Hischier has been the most impactful defensive forward on the Devils, making a difference on 5v5 and on the penalty kill.

To some, Jack Hughes as the runner-up may be a surprise, but Hughes has used his speed and hands to lead the NHL in takeaways.

 

Maurice Rocket Richard: Pavel Zacha, 17 goals (On pace for 28 goals in 82 games)

Runner Up: Miles Wood, 17 goals (On pace for 26 goals in 82 games)

 

As mentioned before, Pavel Zacha took a huge step this year and led the Devils in goals this year. Tied with him is Miles Wood who has scored consistently all season

 

Most Surprising Player: Yegor Sharangovich

Before the start of the season, almost no one knew who Sharangovich was but he quickly emerged into one of the best Devils players this year and drew the attention of many fans. Sharangovich has been the most pleasant surprise on the Devils this season.

 

Most Underwhelming: Andreas Johnsson

The Devils brought Andreas Johnsson in this year to be a productive middle-six. However, Johnsson didn’t have an impact on the Devils this year and looked invisible in many of the games. The Devils definitely expected more from Johnsson this year.

 

Most Improved: Jack Hughes

This is a no-brainer pick. Jack Hughes had a phenomenal second year in the NHL, having a huge impact on the Devils, both offensively and defensively. In Hughes’ first year, he was practically invisible. But this year, he has been the key player controlling the offense completely.

 

Most Regressed: Will Butcher

Will Butcher had a great first season with the Devils back in 2017-18 but ever since then, he has declined his game and for a majority of the season, couldn’t crack the Devils lineup. Butcher did play better towards the end of the year, but out of all the players on the team, he took the biggest step back.

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