D, Scott Stevens: 1991-2004
Probably, the most iconic player in Devils hockey (other than Martin Brodeur) was the hard-hitting captain Scott Stevens.
Number 4 graced the ice for 13 seasons with the Devils.
Stevens found his way to New Jersey after being awarded compensation from the St. Louis Blues, who signed former Devils RFA forward Brendan Shanahan to a contract.
Of the players mentioned, Stevens was the first all-time Devil to not have originally started with the franchise. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 1982, as the fifth overall selection.
After nine previous seasons in the NHL between the Capitals and Blues, he finally made his way to the New Jersey turnpike and settled in.
Despite the relationship between he and the Devils starting rocky, both parties were able to resolve their differences and bring success to the franchise.
In his time with the Devils, he lead by example with his hard-hitting style, causing his opponents to think twice about skating through the middle.
Though, he was never a top offensive producer like Scott Niedemeayer, Stevens brought the nastiness that gave the Devils their defensive identity.
That identity helped shape a franchise into a powerhouse, and ultimately led them to three Stanley Cup championships.
The amazing thing about Stevens’ game was his plus-minus rating through his career. He was never dipped below ‘even’ in his 20-year career. All but one season, the 1985-86 season with the Capitals, did he have a positive goal differential. He would end with +393 in 1,635 games played.
Stevens was named to 13 All-Star games in his career, and even won the Conn Smythe in 2000.
This quote from Stevensspeaks about him as player and his approach when on the ice:
What kind of respect do I get? … Just because I’m a physical player, it’s O.K. to come at me and do what you want? Hey, it’s a hockey game. It’s not figure skating. You know what? I can take a hit and I can give a hit. I don’t care who it is. No one gets a free ride out there. I don’t get a free ride, and no one gets a free ride from me