The Devils had a pretty good run last season before falling short of the playoffs in the last month of the season. They finished with a 38-36-8 record and 84 points. Their defense and goaltending was spectacular, allowing only 208 goals. Their offense, however, posed the problem as they only hammered home 184 goals. They definitely addressed that need in their successful offseason.
On draft day, they traded a third round pick to Pittsburgh for Beau Bennet. He’s not a big-time acquisition, but he does bring some nice depth, especially with his 6’2″, 207 lbs frame.
On June 29th, they fleeced the Oilers, acquiring Elite forward, Taylor Hall, for defenseman Adam Larsson. Larsson can become a great defenseman in this league, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is still a very lopsided deal favoring New Jersey. Hall scored 26 goals and tallied 39 assists last season. Adding that scoring will definitely help the Devils.
They signed Ben Lovejoy in free agency. With a spot on the blue-line available, this is a pretty solid move. He’s not at the same level as Larsson, but he’s still a good, veteran top 6 defenseman, and with Schneider still holding the position of the last line of defense, they don’t lose much on that end of the ice.
I think they definitely improved this offseason and will be a hard team to play against, but as I’ve said with many teams, the competition for the playoffs will be tough.