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Devils among most improved teams in East

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

With the dust still settling from Friday's frenzied first day of free agency, the Devils have emerged as one of’s most improved teams in the Eastern Conference.

The trade for dynamic winger Taylor Hall and the signing of 2016 Stanley Cup champion defenseman Ben Lovejoy are just two of the moves that have given general manager Ray Shero’s club a leg up on the conference competition.

Shero’s busy offseason has also included the signings of forwards Vernon Fiddler and Beau Bennett, who was acquired at this year’s Draft for a third-round pick. senior writer Dan Rosen:

Getting Hall for Larsson was a brilliant move by general manager Ray Shero. Hall, 24, gives the Devils the legitimate top-line goal-scorer they were missing. He should be coming into his own as a player in the NHL and 30-plus goals is expected even though he never scored 30 in his six seasons in Edmonton. Lovejoy is a solid right-handed replacement for Larsson. Fiddler and Bennett are depth forwards on a team that lacked depth last season. Shero should add at least one more veteran defenseman for depth purposes. The Devils did lose defenseman David Schlemko, who signed with the San Jose Sharks.

No. 1 on the to-do list: Re-sign right wing Kyle Palmieri, who is a restricted free agent. [Update: It's a done deal.]

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