As of July 29th, the Devils off-season is considered to be one of the better ones in recent memory.
With additions like 1st overall pick Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, and Wayne Simmonds, the Devils are looking like a team on the rise. However, work still needs to be done and general manager Ray Shero has to find a way to continue to make this team better.
Many Devils fans have been saying this off-season that we need another top-six forward. If you look at some of the projected lineups for the coming year, it’s good but not great. The most recent one is as follows:
Hall – Hischier – Palmieri
Bratt – Hughes – Simmonds
This top-six is good but it could definitely be better. One option that’s been lingering around for a while is Nikita Gusev. The Vegas Golden Knights hold his rights but he has been playing in the KHL. He is 27 but put up 82 points in 62 games for St. Petersburg SKA. The concern for him is that he has never played in the NHL and he would have to adapt to the NHL sized ice. The Devils would have to acquire him via trade and the Knights say Gusev is on the market. It could be the perfect timing for Shero to make a move to get him.
Another thing the Devils need is a solid top-4 defenceman. Yes, the Devils just got P.K. Subban but the depth isn’t there. If u look at the Devils defensive parings they could look like this:
Butcher – Subban
Smith – Severson
Greene – Vatanen
This is a good d-core don’t mistake that. It’s just that if there was another player like Jacob Trouba or Nikita Zadorov it would make the defense that much better. Trouba, unfortunately, went to the Rangers and Zadorov seems to be off the market. We do however have Connor Carrick on the team as he chose to resign with the Devils. He is a good depth piece that the team could use and hope that he turns into a solid top-4 defenseman.
Overall, the Devils still have some work to do for the rest of the off-season and with the beginning of August right around the corner, the time for Shero to make a move is now.