Skip to main content
Team Reset

Devils beginning new chapter with additions of Hughes, Subban

Selection of center with No. 1 pick in 2019 NHL Draft, trade for defenseman highlight busy offseason

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the New Jersey Devils:

The New Jersey Devils will have a different look this season after selecting center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, trading for defenseman P.K. Subban and signing forward Wayne Simmonds.

Hughes, 18, could slot behind center Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft. Subban, acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on June 22 for defensemen Steven Santini and Jeremy Davies and two draft picks, becomes a top-pair defenseman and will provide a boost for a power play that ranked 21st in the NHL last season (17.7 percent).

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

"I'm coming to win, I'm not coming for participation," Subban said. "I want a Stanley Cup. Adding a player like Jack Hughes, a lot of teams in the NHL would dream of that talent. That's what excites me the most, is the amount of young talent in New Jersey.

"My job, a guy with experience, is to come in and complement those players and help build a championship team."

Simmonds, who turns 31 on Aug. 26, signed a one-year contract July 1 and is expected to fill a top-six role.

Here is what the Devils look like today:

 

Key arrivals

Jack Hughes, F: Had 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team last season. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract July 12. …  P.K. Subban, D: The 30-year-old had 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists) in 63 regular-season games and three points (one goal, two assists) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games for Nashville. He has 408 points (98 goals, 310 assists) in 645 regular-season games, won the Norris Trophy voted as the NHL's best defenseman in 2013, and was a finalist for the award in 2018. ... Wayne Simmonds, F: Had 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 79 regular-season games with the Predators and Philadelphia Flyers, including three points (one goal, two assists) in 17 games after he was traded to Nashville on Feb. 25. Simmonds scored at least 24 goals in each of his six full NHL seasons from 2011-18. ... Nikita Gusev, F: Acquired in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights and agreed to terms on a two-year, $9 million contract (average annual value $4.5 million) July 29. Named MVP of the Kontinental Hockey League after he had KHL-high 82 points (17 goals, 65 assists) for SKA St. Petersburg.

Video: Hughes hears Devils call name with No. 1 overall pick

 

Key departures

Steven Santini, D: The 24-year-old had four points (one goal, three assists) in 39 games last season. A second-round pick (No. 42) in the 2013 NHL Draft, he has 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 114 NHL games. ... Kurtis Gabriel, F: Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 1. The 26-year-old had four points (two goals, two assists) in 22 games and provided a physical presence.

 

On the cusp

Ty Smith, D: Selected in the first round (No. 17) of the 2018 NHL Draft, the 19-year-old was named Canadian Hockey League defenseman of the year after he had 69 points (seven goals, 62 assists) in 57 games for Spokane of the Western Hockey League. ... Jesper Boqvist, F: The 20-year-old was a second-round pick (No. 36) in 2017 and had 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in his first full season with Brynas of the Swedish Hockey League. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract on June 10 and will play either for the Devils or be returned to Brynas after training camp. ... Joey Anderson, F: The 21-year-old should be able to settle into a bottom-six role out of training camp after he had seven points (four goals, three assists) in 34 games with the Devils last season. He missed 33 games with a broken right ankle.

Video: Devils draft D Ty Smith No. 17

 

What they still need

More secondary scoring after the Devils finished 25th in the NHL with 2.67 goals per game and 23rd with 30.3 shots per game last season. They could use a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, which they've lacked since Anton Volchenkov in 2013-14.

 

Fantasy focus

Perhaps the most improved fantasy team in the NHL, the Devils now have nine skaters in NHL.com's top 250 rankings compared to four at the end of last season. Hughes is expected to make an immediate impact and could skate on the top line with elite forward Taylor Hall. Hischier could remain in his lineup placement from last season but should have standalone value regardless of line combinations. Subban joins the top five rankings at the position and significantly boosts New Jersey's overall fantasy outlook. -- Rob Reese

Video: OTT@NJD: Hall whips home power-play goal

 

Projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri 

Jesper Bratt -- Jack Hughes -- Wayne Simmonds

Miles Wood -- Travis Zajac -- Blake Coleman 

Pavel Zacha -- Kevin Rooney -- Joey Anderson

Andy Greene -- P.K. Subban

Will Butcher -- Damon Severson

Ty Smith -- Sami Vatanen

Cory Schneider

Mackenzie Blackwood

---

Listen: NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.