The New Jersey Devils are looking ahead in 2017 and beyond. While other clubs are revealing heritage jerseys or revealing more of the same, the young club from Newark, N.J., is taking a bold stand in the league with both their team and their sweater. A NEW Jersey is truly about more than just what players are wearing.
At the helm of the redesign was adidas design director Jeff Eagles. His challenge: How do you create the NHL's highest performing uniform, while ushering in a new era for a club that is redefining itself on the ice, all while honoring the heritage of every generation of this historic franchise? And it's in this challenge that the adidas design team, lead by Eagles, forged a new iconic direction for a team that most wouldn't expect it from.
First, adidas focused on the athlete, revolutionizing the performance attributes of the adizero silhouette. This cutting-edge uniform was created by blending lightweight materials with resilient fibers to engineer a durable jersey that would provide greater airflow. The result has cut weight down significantly, while improving airflow and overall movement, to allow players to reach their peak of performance.
Performance isn't the only thing stitched into the DNA of the new adizero jersey. Eagles and his design team knew Devils fans cared about the heritage of their club. "The history of the Devils is something we truly tried to pour into every element," he said. "Our team looked back through all the generations of the club, starting in 1974 with the Kansas City Scouts, to pull iconic design elements that could create a modern heritage uniform."
"Just like our approach to the design of the Adizero uniform platform, we wanted to uncomplicated the aesthetic, celebrate the essential core brand visual of the team" Eagles said. The focus point came from a visit to The Rock. Hanging on a small half wall inside the Little Devils Zone, Eagles' team found their inspiration in a jersey heritage wall. "At that moment much of our research was done. Every uniform dating back to the Newark Bulldogs was there, providing a roadmap to the evolution of the team's visual DNA," Eagles said. "This roadmap enabled us to distill down the Devils visuals, which we were then able to celebrate in a more iconic way in the design of the new uniform". But the team wasn't satisfied settling for the obvious. "The Devils are one of the most winning teams in modern sports with three Stanley Cups in their short history. For this reason, we created the Championship Collar honoring those iconic Stanley Cup wins. Additionally, we made the inside collar green, not only to as a nod to the Garden State, but so that every time the players and fans pulled on their jerseys, they were putting on all of the team's historic colors." It's this attention to detail that sets adidas design apart from the rest.
So, what's next for the Devils? With the first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the club is poised to grab destiny on the center stage June 23 in Chicago. Who will be the first to wear the new jersey for New Jersey? And who will follow in those footsteps on the second day as the Devils make nine additional picks to round out their draft? Only time will tell us what will happen, but as of right now, we at least know what they will be wearing.