The Devils' season is still very young, but so are some of the club's biggest contributors. When New Jersey embarked on its 2017-18 campaign, GM Ray Shero and coach John Hynes had a very clear list of expectations: The Devils are going to be younger, faster and compete harder. Eight games is roughly 10 percent of the regular season, and the team has kept their promise throughout October.
New Jersey (6-2-0) can credit much of its success to the play of the rookie trio of Jesper Bratt, Will Butcher and Nico Hischier. The three have all made an impact for the Devils and rank among the top eight in points among all first-year NHL players.
Bratt, a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, jumped out to a scorching hot start, scoring a goal in his first career NHL game. In his short start of the season, Bratt has totaled six points (3g-3a) which ranks sixth among all rookies.
The most coveted NCAA player this offseason was Butcher. Butcher, a defenseman, won the Hobey Baker award as a senior at the University of Denver where he built a reputation as the nation's top player and offensive-defenseman specialist. As a Devil, Butcher has yet to score a goal, making it even more impressive that he leads all NHL rookies in points with nine assists. Arguably, Butcher's biggest contribution has come on the power play, where he has collected five of his nine helpers. Averaging over a point per game (1.13), Butcher has proven that quarterbacking a top-10 PP unit in the NHL is not a task too tall.
It may have taken longer than he would have liked, but Hischier has officially arrived with the Devils. It took until the Devils' seventh game of the season for Hischier to light the lamp, but once he did, he followed up with his second career goal just moments later. Hischier is averaging just under a point per game (2g-5a-7pts in eight games), and ranks fourth (tied with BOS defenseman Charlie McAvoy) among all NHL rookies in total points. Hischier has stepped into a larger role than originally anticipated and is now skating between Taylor Hall and Drew Stafford on the Devils' top line. Hischier's poise and hockey smarts have been on full display since his first shift in the NHL and he continues to grow each game.
Check out some of the rookies' top plays:
Video: COL@NJD: Bratt nets first goal, parents tear up
Video: NJD@BUF: Bratt sets up Johansson for his second goal
Video: NJD@BUF: Bratt finishes Henrique's feed on two-on-one
Bill the Butcher
Video: NJD@OTT: Hischier pots first two NHL goals 1:51 apart
Video: NJD@BUF: Hischier feeds Gibbons, gets first NHL point
Down on the Farm
Check out how the top players on the Binghamton Devils have performed through their opening month of the AHL season!
Binghamton Devils Top Five
|Player ||GP ||G ||A ||PTS |
|Nick Lappin ||5 ||4 ||2 ||6 |
|John Quenneville ||5 ||4 ||2 ||6 |
|Bracken Kearns ||5 ||1 ||3 ||4 |
|Josh Jacobs ||5 ||0 ||4 ||4 |
|Tim Kennedy ||5 ||0 ||4 ||4 |