It's been an amazing summer to be a Devils fan.
The club drafted Luke Hughes - the younger brother of Devils center and 2019 first-overall pick Jack - in the 2021 NHL Draft. The team followed that up on the opening day of free agency by signing the best player on the market in defenseman Dougie Hamilton and added goaltending depth with Jonathan Bernier. Days later, New Jersey would snag a top-6 winger in Tomas Tatar. Last, but not least, the club locked in restricted free agent fan favorites Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen.
It was also a summer of fun in the Memes Department, with one even landing on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10.
And as the summer draws to a close, it'll soon be time to lace up the skates, hit the ice and get to work. But before we turn the page, let's take one final look back (in memes) at the summer that was in today's edition of Three Things.
1. NHL Draft
The summer of fun really began at the 2021 NHL Draft. With a packed crowd in attendance for the Devils Draft Party at the Prudential Center, it was easy to see where the fans' hearts lay. With signs reading "LUKE" and chants of "We Want Luke!" the citizenry made their wishes clear. And when Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald stepped to the podium to announce the team's pick, he delivered for the people.
Of course, Devils Twitter was ready with a meme that would make an appearance on ESPN's famed SportsCenter show.
2. Free Agency
Devils fans were riding a high following draft weekend. And just in case that high started to subside, a few days later at the opening bell of NHL free agency the Devils delivered again. In the early afternoon, they snapped up Bernier to improve their depth in the crease.
But it was several hours later when the real exaltation occurred. Late into the evening, fans awaited word on whether Hamilton would sign with the Devils. The team showed its cards a bit with a little teaser.
Not long after the Devils officially announced, though it had previously been reported, that the biggest fish on the market was coming to the Garden State.
The Devils were done for the day, but not done for good. After catching the biggest free agent fish, they went tuna fishing and reeled in top-6 winger Tatar from Montreal.
That completed the free agent haul, with Tatar finding a new home.
3. RFA Keepers
After adding key pieces to the roster, Fitzgerald turned his attention in house and began to work on keeping two young and important Devils wingers in the system. Though Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen had been tendered an offer as restricted free agents, which guaranteed the Devils would keep their rights, the club wanted to make a longer-term investment in both players. And the hype reels were in full swings.
And, with the season just around the corner, don't forget about your mission from Ice-T.