3 bold predictions for the New Jersey Devils in 2023-24

From Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton going big to Vitek Vanecek staying put, here are three bold predictions for the New Jersey Devils in the 2023-24 NHL season.

Devils Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, and Dougie Hamilton
Devils Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, and Dougie Hamilton / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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The 2023-24 NHL season is just around the corner. Preseason games will be underway at the end of September, followed by the regular season beginning the second week of October. As the season draws closer, we’re making bold predictions for NHL teams.

The New Jersey Devils had an impressive year in 2022-23. Will they top last season in 2023-24? They’ll be an exciting team to watch. Highly anticipated prospect Luke Hughes is ready to take on his rookie season and his brother, Jack Hughes, is one of the NHL players with a strong chance to break 100 points for the first time this year. 

Six forwards including Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Timo Meier, Tyler Toffoli, and Dawson Mercer are capable of scoring 30+ goals. John Marino excels at providing shutdown defense, while Dougie Hamilton is an exceptional offensive defenseman.

Before the puck drops this fall, here are three bold predictions for the 2023-24 Devils.

Bold predictions for the New Jersey Devils: 3. Jack Hughes will score 50 goals

Jack Hughes had an incredible season in 2022-23. He scored 43 goals and broke Patrik Elias’ franchise single-season points record, tallying 99 points during the regular season. His big year included 31 power-play points and a hat trick. And yet, Hughes is going to be even better in 2023-24. He is becoming one of the top centers in the NHL.

Last season, Hughes was eighth on the NHL leaderboard for regular-season goals. Only five players passed the 50-goal mark, with two of them hitting 60. Fourteen players, including Hughes, scored between 40 and 50 goals. Hughes has shown the capability to be among the league’s best. 

It’s worth noting that Hughes will have a lot of help in New Jersey. The Devils have a solid core and a very strong group of forwards. Regardless of who is on Hughes’ wings, he’s going to score goals and make assists, but having possible linemates like Jesper Bratt, Tyler Toffoli, Timo Meier, and Dawson Mercer increases the likelihood of Hughes racking up points.

It’s not bold to predict that Hughes will hit 100 points next season. There's a lot of buzz around that. But 50 goals? As great as Hughes is, 50 goals is a tall order. Considering he’s just 22 years old, though, he’s fit to unlock the next level. Last season, he reached the 40 goal mark for the first time. If he stays healthy this year, he can hit 50.