- New Jersey missed the playoffs by 26 points last year, but added no. 1 pick Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, and Wayne Simmonds
- The Devils’ 2020 Stanley Cup odds have gotten shorter and shorter during their positive offseason
- The St. Louis Blues proved that all you need is a postseason spot to make noise in an NHL characterized by parity
The New Jersey Devils are getting respect as you can see in the 2020 Stanley Cup Odds tracker. They deserve it thanks to a busy off-season that stocked the roster with talent.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds
|Team||Stanley Cup Odds at MyBookie*|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+750|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+900|
|New Jersey Devils||+2800|
|New York Islanders||+2800|
*Odds taken 8/9/2019.
In addition to a roster that includes former Hart Trophy-winner Taylor Hall, the Devils have added three key pieces that should see them compete in the Eastern Conference.
If we learned anything from the St. Louis Blues come back from worst to first, all you need is a chance. Here are the additions that have New Jersey in a spot where you should consider betting them at +2800.
Jack Hughes a True Franchise Player
For the second time in three years, the Devils lucked into the no. 1 pick in the draft. While Nico Hischier in 2017 was a more contentious choice in a weaker draft class, the Devils wasted no time selecting consensus top prospect Jack Hughes this year.
Hischier is a nice player who will contribute for years to come, he isn’t what you’re hoping for when picking first in the draft. With superstars like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews being selected this decade, Hischier was viewed as an underwhelming prize.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) August 8, 2019
Hughes, on the other hand, is anything but underwhelming. He tallied 25 goals and 75 assists in only 50 games with the U.S. National Under 18 Team last year. He will fill the net at the NHL level and it shouldn’t take him long to do so.
Consider him to be a rookie more in the mould of the stars the Oilers and Leafs got when they picked number one.
P.K. Subban Brings Stability on Defense
For some reason, when the Devils landed P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators, it was met with some pause. Many wondered if Subban was worth the side show that appears to follow him from spot to spot.
The resounding answer to that question is yes.
The former Norris Trophy-winner had 31 points last season but is only one year removed from a 59-point campaign that fell only one point shy of his career high.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) July 25, 2019
Even if Subban can’t match his career highs, he’s still an exceptional puck-moving defenseman who will help the Devils get the puck to their stars, like Hughes and Taylor Hall, in transition.
Can Wayne Simmonds Still Contribute?
Wayne Simmonds has long been one of the most feared forwards in the league with his blend of skill and tenacity. Last season, he put up 99 PIMs but failed to rack up points at an elite level finishing with only 30, split between the Predators and Philadelphia Flyers.
— NHL (@NHL) July 2, 2019
Yet, his one-year, $5 million contract could be a bargain. The Devils get a motivated player who will test free agency again in July 2020. Expect Simmonds to chip in at a rate that will please both New Jersey fans and the front office that gave him the money.
Adding these players to a core that emphasizes speed and skill should be enough to get New Jersey into the playoffs. From there, anything can happen, as the Blues just showed. .
Let's have fun and keep it civil.