Graves- has definitely improved the left side of our defense and shouldn’t be moved. Eventually will be perfect second pair under hopefully Luke Hughes
Hamilton- also has been fine, I wouldn’t say worth all 9 million maybe 8 I know that’s only a million difference but there’s times where he’s been shaky in the D-zone. He’s a player that really benefits having another RHD that can eat defensive zone draws.
Smith- yikes, bad. I wouldn’t say trade candidate cause that’s unfair. I think he needs to be evaluated under a new coaching staff so he is someone that prompts me to wanting a new bench boss. Also I’ve seen this happen my butcher jersey in my closet is an eerie reminder what has happened to a quite similar defenseman that showed a promising rookie campaign
Severson- I don’t know why this guy has the high value other teams fans praise him for but if that’s the case with other teams front offices I wouldn’t be completely against shopping him. I do like Severson but he really is just a slightly above average defenseman in my book. If u can get a first + for him I’d say do it
Sieganthaler- this guys a solid NHL third pair defenseman that can be your number four on some nights. No complaints good contract, he’ll block shots and hit a guy.
Subban-I think I can say similar things to what I said about Jonas. Subbans looked better this year, just take let your one timer go a bit more, that’s a big reason you got a 9m aav contract back in the day. I think it’ll be interesting to see him on the market and what he attracts.
Bahl + Okhotyuk- both seem to be doing well in the ahl, their D-pair is plus 10 and it looks like they’ve imposed their physical and defensive will in the AHL, I’d like both to get a cup of joe this year
Walsh- I’m in favor of seeing what he can do in a trade, what other teams value him as. I just don’t see the devils needing his services for the type of game he provides. Value is I would say peaking this season.
Miles Wood- with his return time to be sometime in March it’ll be interesting to see what the devils do, depending on how other organizations feel about his recovery his value could be at an all time high. But that being said he’s an RFA and brings a physical game that the devils desperately need a forward to emulate. I think it all comes down to what he wants money wise.
Hughes- I don’t want this kid getting used to the losing culture in NJ that has haunted this organization the past decade. He’s looked good and I do believe it’s a matter of who his line mates are for how much success he’ll find in the short term. Definitely needs to become better in the circle he should spend a lot of time with McLeod at practice and optional skates. Also needs to shoot more he’s got a good shot why not use it.
Nico- 7.25 is a lot to pay for a 50 point guy year in a year out, I can see him having a season or two under this contract flirting with high 60’s but he needs to keep developing other attributes to his game. I’ve liked how hard he’s played every game. It’s broad to say that but every game you notice him, he has a bigger presence on the boards than he ever has. Loved the fight the other night. He just needs to keep improving cause his "prime" of his career isn’t far away.
Bratt- We couldn’t stand him the first 10 games but now he’s our best player. And this doesn’t seem like the first rodeo for Bratt when it comes to that. He for sure is playing for a contract right now but who knows what we’re gonna get out of him long term. I’m not nervous we overpay him but I hope it doesn’t back fire.
Zacha- another guy playing for pay dirt he’s looked okay this year. I would definitely say he can disappear for 14 of his 18 minutes a night sometimes which is concerning. The big question with him is where would he slot in on a good team. If we somehow become good soon is he our second line LW or third line LW. He’s a guy who’s at his peak value right now in my opinion so I wouldn’t say shop him but definitely answer a call or two if people call about him. Also we need to toss the mindset he’s a decent defensive forward. I really don’t think he does much more than above average in his own zone.
Johnsson- unfortunately I just think he was hot to open the season, he’s snake-bit right now for sure. I think he’s a 3rd liner who excels when his line-mates are playing well. We’ve seen it in Toronto and now here. If a team really has interest in him for the right price I would be okay with moving him. I do like thin though, I’m not saying get him out of town just that he’s not a guy I’d lose sleep over if we traded him.
Mercer- His game is awesome, I don’t really know who I could even compare it too. I think the break up of his line kind of flustered him cause he was acclimated to how that line operated and then to be thrown into a random line generator every night threw him in a loop. This year is important to see if he can play wing as well as he can play center. I wouldn’t mind Hughes Nico Mercer McLeod being our 4 centers tho.
Sharangovich- sigh, kinda a here we go again. I think he’s been unlucky and should have maybe 5-6 goals but he really hasn’t shown much away from the puck or with it on his stick. His assists mostly are secondary assists and he’s really not entering the zone like he was last year with speed, I haven’t been seeing the defenseman drop back when he skates at them like he did last year.
Kuokkanen- sigh, kinda a here we go again. These two guys show us atleast that Jack makes a difference. I thought kuokkanen could’ve been a very solid lower in the lineup guy but this year he’s been a ghost of seasons past. His work ethic isn’t as notable in my opinion and the lack to get into dirty areas may be why he can’t land on the score sheet
McLeod- don’t worry about scoring just become a beast in your own zone. He’s got a great face off percentage and not only that those face offs are in the defensive zone and mainly against a top two center. He’s big and fast, if he can throw his body around and get 160 hits 80 blocks 60% faceoff percentage and 20 points he could be the most valuable 4th line center in hockey
Bastian- I was very happy to see him claimed. He brings great value on this team. Vesey-McLeod-Bastian could be something I get behind for this season and seasons in the future. Bastian has looked good in this own zone and using his body is very important and it seems like he gets that
Vesey- if miles gets traded Vesey could fit that 4th line winger role well and help create a nice identity line with Mikey and Nate, he’s looked really good in his own zone and recently on the penalty kill so he’s a guy this team needs to resign and hopefully for a good deal. I think if he plays with the same guys night in and night out he’s potting a minimum of 10-12 goals
Holtz- Dinesen getting a full season with him is important, Utica finding success is the most important thing in my mind for the rest of the season cause these future guys should fast success and hopefully carry it over with them to the big club. Holtz needs to hit so this has to be done right or we’re in a lot of trouble
Blackwood- he’s been average, he takes over some games then the next game he looks like an average NHL goalie. He’s 25 so he’s now entering his prime so let’s see it before he’s overpaid
Bernier- well he’s hurt, and probably for a while. Hopefully he doesn’t retire he looked good in the beginning of the season
Fitz is going to have a long cold winter trying to figure out how he’s gonna turn this around. Ruff and company might go who knows and some players might go. This team almost needs another Taylor Hall kickstart and add a Winger coming into their prime. Boeser and Fiala have been the guys on the rumor mill but I’d be far more interested in a guy like Martin Necas he’s a guy I think you’d willingly have a lot to give up but he would all around be a great fit.
But in honesty this team needs something to turn its fortune around and Vancouver might make a certain route compelling for Fitzgerald to try.