Bratt has emerged as a bona fide star for the Devils.
Week 15 was another bad one for the New Jersey Devils. They lost all three games but, to their defense, none were easy.
They kicked things off against the Dallas Stars, an ugly 5-1 loss, and followed that up with two more losses against two of the best teams in the league, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes.
Ironically, the Devils were able to keep those games close- they only lost by a goal in each one. They put up a fight, but the Devils now have another three losses on the season and have dropped their last four in a row.
No Devils player looked particularly great this week, but some did better than others. As has been the case all season, Jesper Bratt was better than anyone.
(Check out last week’s player of the week and honorable mentions here.)
Player of the Week: RW Jesper Bratt
vs. DAL: 1 G
@ TBL: 2 A
Average Game Score: 0.87
Average defensive impact: -0.07
Bratt definitely didn’t have the best week of his season in Week 15, but was still better than any of his teammates.
This is indicative of the Devils’ 2021-22 season, as a whole. Bratt has broken onto the season and has been the team’s best player all throughout.
This week, he was the Devils’ second-best player against the Stars, in which he scored the team’s only goal of the game, and their best player against the Lightning, in which he notched two assists.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 26, 2022
This was definitely a poor defensive week from Bratt, who had a negative defensive impact in each of the team’s three games, but he did well enough offensively to be the Devils’ best.
Bratt’s transformation into an absolute stud is something Devils fans should be extremely excited about, even given how poorly this season is going for their team.
Honorable Mention #1: RHD Damon Severson
vs. DAL: 1 A
@ TBL: 1 G
Average Game Score: 0.48
Average defensive impact: -0.20
Another strong offensive week from Severson earns him an honorable mention for the second-consecutive time.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 28, 2022
Severson wasn’t nearly as good in Week 15 as he was last week, but he still stood out among his teammates and was the Devils’ best blueliner.
As usual, Severson wasn’t good in his own zone, but defended much better than he did in Week 14. This is primarily thanks to superb defensive play against the Hurricanes, in which he was the Devils’ best player and had an excellent defensive impact of 1.1.
It’s nice to see Severson’s marked improvement in play over the last few weeks, even when the rest of the team has struggled so significantly.
Honorable Mention #2: W Janne Kuokkanen
@ CAR: 1 A
Average Game Score: 0.47
Average defensive impact: 0.3
If someone had told me earlier this season I’d be including Kuokkanen in one of these lists, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Kuokkanen hasn’t been great by any means and has honestly been quite disappointing, but has looked pretty good compared to the disaster we saw for most of the beginning of the season.
His hard work has paid off and he was the team’s third-best player this week. He didn’t necessarily stand out in any particular game, but was more consistent than arguably any of his teammates.
Kuokkanen was also very good defensively, another surprise. He didn’t look great in his own zone against the Hurricanes, but otherwise stood tall and showed that he’s worked on that part of his game.
It was nice to see him play well as a versatile forward. Kuokkanen spent time on both wings this week and did well at both positions.
This was a milestone week for Kuokkanen, too. The game against the Stars was the 100th game of Kuokkanen’s career.
Kuokkanen hasn’t looked good this season and there’s a chance he won’t be on the team next season, but his performance this week was promising and the hope is that he can build off it for the remainder of the season.