One line in particular stood out for the Devils this week.
Week 5 was the New Jersey Devils‘ toughest of the young season, so far, but many players stepped up.
The Devils ended up earning three points in four games against the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers — some of the best teams in the league.
The Devils obviously played quite well as a team, but who stood out most?
Player of the week: C Dawson Mercer
This week’s player of the week for the Devils was none other than the rookie.
Mercer has been fantastic in his inaugural season, but was especially remarkable this week. With an average Game Score of 1.58, he was the Devils’ best player in Week 5.
In these four games, Mercer scored two goals while recording four assists. He averaged a defensive score of -0.17.
The 20-year-old center has been one of the best rookies in the game and one of the Devils’ best players. He’s stepped up in Jack Hughes’ absence and is a key reason why the line he plays on is currently one of the best in the league.
Mercer has been nothing short of fantastic since the Devils drafted him. He has exhibited high hockey IQ and shown that he can be a great top-six forward. The 20-year-old is making the players around him productive too, especially his linemates.
Honorable Mentions: RW Jesper Bratt, LW Andreas Johnsson, and LW Pavel Zacha
Our first two honorable mentions for player of the week are Mercer’s two linemates, Bratt and Johnsson. Bratt, who had a slow start to the season, has improved tremendously since getting regular minutes alongside Mercer.
Bratt totaled two goals and four assists in four games last week and averaged a Game Score of 1.37.
After an unremarkable inaugural season in New Jersey last year, Johnsson has completely turned things around and is tied for the team-lead in points, so far. He’s looked like a brand new player and spending time with Mercer is doing him well.
This week, Johnsson recorded two goals and two assists while averaging a Game Score of 1.26.
Last but not least is Pavel Zacha, who’s been a top scorer for the Devils over the past few seasons. Zacha scored two goals and two assists this past week and had a Game Score of 1.22.
As has been the case for some time, when Zacha does well, the Devils do well.