The 2016-2017 Devils At A Glance
- Updated: November 20, 2016
Coming into the 2016-2017 season we’re looking at a whole new team. Over the summer General Manager Ray Shero made some big changes. With the addition of Taylor Hall the Devils found the consistency they were looking for in goal scoring. Hall is reunited with former Windsor Spitfire teammate Adam Henrique. Hall and Henrique playing on the same line will also add chemistry to the team.
Taylor Hall wasn’t the only big move. Ray Shero also brought in some other new additions to help out the team. Youngster Beau Bennett, Just coming off of a Stanley Cup win with the Penguins, missed some of last season due to injury and is eager to prove his ability. Fans got a glimpse of his creativity when he played the first line with Hall and Henrique when the Devils played in the preseason against the Rangers. In that game Bennett scored 2 goals, one of which was a powerplay goal. If he stays healthy this season he would be a great addition, he can take chances, make plays, and score on the powerplay.
Another addition is Vernon Fiddler, If he plays the fourth line he can help improve scoring. The Devils lacked goal scoring on the third and fourth lines last season. Adding Fiddler just shows the desperate need and motivation that Shero and Hynes have for goal scoring throughout each line and not just the top two lines. Fiddler’s veteran presence can help teach the younger group coming in. The league is changing, teams are getting younger and faster. However, they still need to be taught certain skills in which Fiddler can teach them those things.
The Devils latest addition is PA Parenteau. Parenteau scored 41 points in 77 games last season. Parenteau can also be a consistent fourth liner for the Devils. The Devils seem to be set on forwards. Defense was an area that was lacking after the Adam Larsson trade. Ben Lovejoy will help to pick up where Larsson left off. He may not have the same style as Larsson but he can get the job done. Yohann Auvitu has been a popular name throughout the preseason as well. Yohann was brought in from the Finnish League, He caught Hynes’ attention while he was over in Europe. Auvitu is a big body with a nice shot making him a great fit as an offensive defenseman in New Jersey.
Overall, If I had to give Ray Shero a grade on how he did this offseason it would be an A. He covered all the bases. He added goal scoring, consistency, and creativity. He added big bodies and skilled defenseman. He added grit in Luke Gazdic. He also did very well on signing contracts. He signed low risk deals or deals with players that he knew would be important to the Devils success long term. Shero is setting the Devils up for success which will hopefully prove all the critics wrong this season.