Welcome to the contender’s land, Devils fans. Last season’s second-round exit in the playoffs has set the bar high for hockey in New Jersey, whose roster looks even more impressive with the addition of Tyler Toffoli.
The NJ Devils are currently among the top five candidates for the Stanley Cup trophy, and the euphoria can be felt all over the place.
Can the players justify the hype and live up to their ambitions? Stay tuned as we discuss key points for the 2023-24 NHL season, look at top odds at NJ sportsbooks, and share our thoughts on the team’s chances of going all the way in June.
Is There a Better Offensive Team in the League?
The Devils have been struggling for goals over the last decade or so but have improved the offensive roster on last year’s breakthrough campaign. Only the sky is the limit for them at the moment. Only three teams in NHL history have had six different players with 30 or more goals in a single season, and we genuinely believe the current New Jersey squad has such firepower on display in the offensive third.
After all, the Devils had three skaters with at least 30 goals last year, including Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hirscher. Timo Meier joined them late in the season and only managed 9 of his 40 total goals in a Devils’ shirt. Tyler Toffoli enjoyed a career season with 34 goals for the Calgary Flames last year, meaning we only have to find one more player to join this group of magnificent skaters who have shown impeccable scoring form in the previous campaign.
Stand by because the Devils have him on their roster, and his name is Dawson Mercer. The Devils selected the 21-year-old winger in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He was just three goals shy of the 30-goal benchmark last season, and we can only expect him to develop in the years to come. This may be his time to shine alongside lethal scorers such as Hughes, Bratt, and company. Mercer enters his contract year, and the Devils’ GM, Tom Fitzgerald, has already expressed his desire to tie him up long-term.
Are there six legitimate 30+ goals scorers in a single season in any other team in the NHL? We struggle to give a positive answer.
Can the Devils Go All the Way?
It’s been exactly two decades since the Devils won their last Stanley Cup trophy. They finally have all the ingredients to compete for the throne despite the departures of important defenders Damon Severson and Ryan Graves. The good news is that Luke Hughes, the younger brother of the team’s primary star, Jack, is ready for his maiden full season. Coach Lindy Ruff will also need his pair of goaltenders to perform consistently at the highest level for colossal achievements.
Vitek Vanecek disappointed fans in the second half of the season, while his replacement Akira Schmid is yet to show his worth to the league after making his debut last year. That said, the current Devils’ offensive line is very much capable of annulling the potential defensive liabilities.
Looking at the odds across the popular US betting operators, the best value can be found in backing the Devils to win the Metropolitan Division at the +200 with BetMGM Sportsbook NJ. The Hurricanes, Rangers, Islanders, and Penguins can all provide serious challenges, but we have to take New Jersey with this roster at such an attractive price tag. A bit more adventurous bettors can chase the Devils to win the Stanley Cup at the +1000 odds, also with BetMGM.
- Our Top Prediction: New Jersey Devils to win Metropolitan Division (+200) with BetMGM