Devils season off to a fiery start


The Devils are on the ice for the start of a game. Photo Credit: Jared Miller

Jared Miller, Sports Editor

After a long four months of waiting, New Jersey Devils hockey is back! Following a successful season in which the team made a surprising playoff appearance, the team looks to do it again in the 2018-19 season.
In 2015, the Devils organization started making changes in both the front office, as well as on the roster. It started when they hired general manager Ray Shero in May 2015. A month later head coach John Hynes was hired. Since then, big acquisitions leading up to this season included New Jersey native Kyle Palmieri being traded from the Anaheim Ducks for a few draft picks in June 2015. In June 2016, Taylor Hall was traded for Adam Larsson in a deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Following the 2016 season, the Devils struggled again. However, they ended up with the number one pick in the draft and added Swiss phenom Nico Hischier onto their team. Early July, Marcus Johansson was traded for two second-round draft picks from the Washington Capitals. The third addition in the Summer of 2017 was Will Butcher. Coming out of college, Butcher was a free agent and chose to sign with the Devils, and has since proven to be a great addition to the Devils weak defensive unit. The final big addition to the Devils team was at the beginning of last season. The Devils traded Adam Henrique and a few other players to the Anaheim Ducks for Sami Vatanen, a young defenseman who solidifies the defense that the Devils were missing.
Last season the Devils finished with a 44-29-9 record and made the playoffs. Taylor Hall had 93 points last season leading the team and won the Hart Memorial trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable player to their team. Hall returns this year along with a healthier team, including Kyle Palmieri who was riddled with lower-body injuries as well as Marcus Johansson who had two concussions last season and wasn’t able to play for most of the season.
The Devils started the season with a trip to Europe in the NHL Global Series, in an effort to spread the popularity of the NHL across the world. The Devils started the trip with an exhibition game against Swiss Hockey League team SC Bern, a team the Devils center Nico Hischier played with before he was the top pick in the NHL Draft. After winning the exhibition game by a score of 3-2, the Devils travelled to Sweden to start the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers. The Devils came out firing on all cylinders and dominated the Oilers in a 5-2 win before returning to New Jersey to continue their season.
As of right now the Devils have a 7-8-1 record. Ten goals came from Kyle Palmieri alone, and Taylor Hall has provided four goals and fourteen assists so far this season. This offensive explosion early in the season has disproved any doubt about the Devils offense. The season is still young, and with an 82 game schedule ahead of them, the Devils will look to keep this success throughout the entire season and return to the playoffs to show that they are once again a competitive team in the NHL. It is not an easy task to win the Stanley Cup. Now all we can do is wait and see how the Devils do for the remainder of the season.