C, Kirk Muller: 1985-1991
Though his time with the Devils was short (seven seasons), Muller was one of the team’s first offensive stars.
Drafted second overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, Muller became the team’s first captain under former general manager Lou Lamoriello. To measure his ability as a player coming out of junior hockey, he selected after Mario Lemieux that year. Just saying.
His nickname, Captain Kirk, was appropriate for him. Muller’s been described as “…a fierce competitor in addition to his scoring ways“.
In his first four seasons with the Devils, Muller accomplished quite a bit. He would be a consistent team leader in scoring, ranking at the top or near it for the Devils. He would be named to the All-Star team in 1985 and 1986.
His production would climb each year, since his rookie season. He would score 54 (1985), 66 (1986), 76 (1987), and 94 (1988) points in four years. Meanwhile, he remained a consistent figure on the ice, averaging 79 games.
Muller would be tapped as captain, at the young of age of 21. But, it was well earned by Muller. He would lead the team to their first playoff berth, getting as far as the Conference Finals.
Muller’s last three seasons saw the Devils in the postseason, each year. However, their performance was never equaled to the success they had in 1988.
Muller’s highlights include:
– Career high in goals: 37 (1988)
– Scored 50+ assists in four of seven seasons, setting career high with 57 (1988)
– Holds the franchise record in regular season points with 94 (1988)
Muller would never see raise the cup with New Jersey, as he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens, before the start of the 1991-1992 season. It would be three years too late.
However, he still ranks third in franchise history in points with 520 in 556 games. His time may have been short, but a great player for the Devils at his position.