Mark your calendars, New Jersey Devils fans. You’re not going to want to miss any of these key dates.
The New Jersey Devils are coming off of their worst season franchise history. Only two teams—Colorado and Arizona—finished with fewer points than the Devils (70) last season.
But the team is looking to rebound in 2017-18. There’s some reason for optimism. But before we get too deep into that, let’s take a look at some important dates for the upcoming season.
Sept. 14, 2017
Training camp begins for the club with many intriguing storylines. Will Nico Hischier make the team after being drafted first overall in the 2017 NHL Draft? Can recently signed Denver Pioneer (and Hobey Baker Award-winner) Will Butcher crack the opening night lineup?
These are only some of the things we will get into in the coming weeks before the puck drops on the regular season.
Sept. 18, 2017
Less than a week after training camp opens the Devils will take to the ice for their first preseason action. First up: Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at the Prudential Center. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. ET.
Sept. 25, 2017
Typically when we discuss preseason hockey you look for new young players and then pray that the superstars don’t get hurt. However, in this one, the Devils travel to Prince Edward Island where they will take part in the Canadian version of Kraft Hockeyville against the Ottawa Senators.
Oct. 7, 2017
Finally, Opening Day is here! The Devils first contest is an afternoon affair (2:00 p.m. ET) against the Colorado Avalanche. One super-intriguing storyline for this one is that Butcher (assuming he makes the team) will be playing against the team that drafted him. Back in 2013, Colorado selected Butcher in the fifth-round (123rd overall) of the NHL Draft.
On the other side, there is also a chance that Alexander Kerfoot will play against the team that drafted him. Kerfoot was a fifth-round pick for the Devils (150th overall) in 2012.
Dec. 21, 2017
The Devils host their Hudson River rivals for the first time in the season. This is always an exciting night for the Devils and their fans.
Feb. 24, 2018
New Jersey welcomes their other tri-state rival, the New York Islanders, to the Prudential Center. But that’s not why this game is important. The Devils will retire Patrik Elias‘ No. 26, making it only the fifth number in franchise history to be hoisted to the rafters.
March 1, 2018
The NHL trade deadline will be a compelling day for the Devils. If the Devils are close to a playoff spot—a possibility—they could be a surprise deadline buyer. More likely, however, is that New Jersey will sell one last time before they make a serious playoff run in 2018-19.
April 7, 2018
The Devils will play their final contest of the season as they travel to Washington D.C. to take on Ovechkin and the Caps one more time.
The New Jersey Devils definitely have an exciting season ahead. Be on the lookout for my position-by-position breakdown in the coming days before training camp begins.