NHL Power Rankings: Previewing the Flyers’ Metropolitan positon

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

New Jersey Devils

Head Coach- John Hynes (fourth season)

Key Returning Players- Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Cory Schneider, Travis Zajac

2018 Outlook

Justin:  For a long a time, it seemed like the Devils were destined to play their stingy, trap style game until the end of time, painfully frustrating opposing teams with suffocating defense and low scoring affairs. This Devil’s team, while still a tough out every night, is not quite that same team. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall returns to lead a forward group that has a chance to be pretty good as long as they get more out of guys like Kyle Palmieri, Nico Hischier, and Marcus Johansson.

Hischier is in his second year and should continue to blossom into a fine scoring winger. The Devils have a decent top four on defense, led by Sami Vatanen and Andy Greene, who will see the majority of ice time each night. Cory Schneider will be back in net but may miss some time at the start of the season due to offseason surgery. The team will need him to duplicate his play from the playoffs, where he posted a .950 save percentage and 1.78 goals against. In His absence, Keith Kincaid will fill in.

Bottom Line: This is where teams begin to break from the pack. The Devils should push for a playoff spot this season, and with the Division as competitive as it is, it’s easy to envision two Metropolitan teams occupying the final two wild-card spots. The Devils have enough talent up front, a steady defensive unit, and when healthy, above average goaltending from Schneider. They’ll be on the bubble, but led by Hall, they’ll get in the dance again.

Prediction: Fifth in the Metropolitan, 94 pts

Anthony:  Name one Devils player besides Taylor Hall or Nico Hischier. The Devils were in the mix of teams trying to add JVR, but couldn’t pull it off. They also lost some of their depth players. If Hischier can have a successful sophomore season, the Devils might not take to far of a step back, but without some production from the depth players, they won’t do much better.

Bottom Line: Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier should be fun to watch.

Prediction: Fifth in the Metropolitan Division, 90 pts