Predicting when every NHL team will win its next Stanley Cup

18 of 31

New Jersey Devils

This season may not satisfy the New Jersey Devils fans, but Jersey needs to remember it’s well ahead of schedule in a rebuilding process and that the future is bright with Nico Hischier leading the way.

General manager Ray Shero and head coach John Hynes have done an efficient job at building a playoff contender from the ground up, and it’s only a matter of time before the Devils win their fourth Stanley Cup and first without former GM, Lou Lamoriello.

Hischier, 19, proved just how mature the former first-overall selection (2017) can be out on the ice, and that also entails his play away from the puck. There were times last season when the Switzerland native appeared to be a skater in his mid-twenties, and New Jersey can expect him to transform into an MVP in due time.

Speaking of MVP’s, the 2018 Hart Memorial Trophy winner in Taylor Hall is on a mission, and that uncanny mission has just begun. Hall has appeared to be a bit of a late bloomer, but if you’re Jersey – the Devils wouldn’t have it any other way.

A young core of quality defensemen are, or will, experience some growing pains over the course of the next two seasons, but it’s all a part of the grueling process to succeed in the today’s NHL. Defensemen Will Butcher and Mirco Mueller are the real deal, and they’re also just 23-year-old each.

Yes, Sami Vatanen proved that he can handle No. 1 defenseman minutes, but he’ll have more of an impact if the Devils acquire a true superstar for the team’s blue line to improve New Jersey’s depth down the middle of the ice. Another big question mark is behind the blue line and between the pipes.

Is the team’s future Stanley Cup winning goaltender Cory Schneider, or Keith Kinkaid? It’s a good problem to have, and only time will tell. New Jersey is three to four years away and will win Lord Stanley in 2021.