Taylor Hall is the only New Jersey Devils player headed to the All-Star game in LA, but there are others who have had a good year and deserve recognition.
Left Wing: Miles Wood
In his first season, Miles Wood has impressed legions of Devils fans. He scored his first goal of his career this season and has looked amazing. He brings something to the table the Devils lack in speed.
His intensity is also something that the Devils have needed badly:
Through 23 games this season, Wood has five goals and two assists. It’s the little things that Wood does that makes him impressive. Devils fans have to be excited to see what type of player Wood will develop into. Speed, scoring, and toughness, Wood seems like the complete package.
Center: Travis Zajac
Travis Zajac is having a bounce back season. In 2013, he signed an eight-year, $46 million dollar contract. He had earned that contract by putting up phenomenal numbers with two 30 goal scorers on his wings.
Since then, Zajac has played nowhere near the amount of money he was being paid. But this year, it looks different.
Perhaps the most impressive improvement in his game is his effort. Zajac has eight goals and 17 assists this season. He is on pace for his best season number wise since his first year under his new deal.
Zajac has also put up three power play goals, which is on pace to tie a career high.
Right Wing: P.A. Parenteau
Parenteau will most likely be dealt at the deadline for a draft pick, but that doesn’t mean he’s been playing poorly. He has been a star for the Devils, leading the team with 12 goals. Currently on pace for a career-high 24 goals, it’s still a mystery why the Islanders waived him.
Through the season he has displayed his wicked wrist shot. It’s the stuff goalies have nightmares about.
Parenteau is also in the right position to put home the rebound when needed. And to think, this is a guy the Devils didn’t even sign but gave a chance to that a division rival didn’t.
Defensemen: Andy Greene/Damon Severson
O captain! My captain! Andy Greene is the Devils best defensemen, unquestionably. He can play in any situation, five on five, power play, short-handed, three on three. You name it, Greene can play it. While his
While his iron man streak may have ended, he remains a force on defense and in the locker room. And who knew, the man has slick hands too:
Damon Severson has blossomed into a nice offensive defenseman. Halfway through the season, he is one point shy of his career best. He is an underrated puck-moving defenseman who can lead a rush, just as well as he can quarterback a play. With Andy Greene out, the Devils will depend on Severson to produce.
Goalie: Keith Kinkaid
OK, Kinkaid gets the nod here because Schneider has been a hot mess this season and there is no other option. However, Kinkaid has played better than his stats show. His season highlight comes against the Capitals in which he made 40+ saves, stealing a win.
All in all, Kinkaid is having a fine season backing up Schneider. When he has been on, he’s been nearly unbeatable. Who would’ve thought he would have a better save percentage than Schneider halfway through the season?
I still wish he would have went with these amazing pads, though.