New Jersey Devils Player of the Week (11/21 edition)

A surprise Devils forward gets this week’s honor after a short week.

Leen Amin

Leen Amin

Week 6 was a short one for the New Jersey Devils. Their game against the Ottawa Senators was postponed while Ottawa had the week off to deal with COVID-19 issues.

The Devils suffered an ugly 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, just over a week after handing them their second regulation loss of the season.

In an exciting game against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Saturday, the Devils put on a show that led to a 5-3 comeback victory.

Many players did well on the ice and we got to see RW Fabian Zetterlund make his NHL debut (the kid looked good). But who was the best of them all?

Player of the week: LW Jimmy Vesey

vs. FLA: 1 A
vs. TBL: 1 G
Average Game Score: 1.53
Average defensive impact: -0.08

If I had attempted to describe to Devils fans just how important Jimmy Vesey would become to their team, they wouldn’t have believed me. Vesey has done many things well for the Devils this season, but really turned it up a notch in Week 6.

Vesey averaged a Game Score of 1.53, by far the highest of any Devils player this week. Vesey was a top-four player in both games, including the team’s best against the Panthers.

His goal against the Lightning was an important one: it tied the game and allowed the Devils to begin their impressive comeback.

Vesey has proven to be a very important depth piece for the Devils. The fact that the team’s fourth line LW who doesn’t have spectacular linemates- Michael McLeod and a kid making his NHL debut- is testament to how far this Devils team has come.

When the big guns are having off-nights, other guys are capable of stepping up.

Vesey made a statement in his play this week and the hope will be that he can do this on a consistent basis.

Not many teams can say one of their fourth liners was their player of the week, so what Vesey did for the Devils this week really was important and valuable.

Honorable Mention #1: LHD Ryan Graves

vs. TBL: 1 A
Average Game Score: 0.98
Average defensive impact: -0.04

Honorable Mention #2: RW/C Yegor Sharangovich

vs. TBL: 2 G, 1 A
Average Game Score: 0.97
Average defensive impact: -1.02

Honorable Mention #3: RW Jesper Bratt

vs. TBL: 1 A
Average Game Score: 0.91
Average defensive impact: 0.12

This was probably Ryan Graves’ best week as a Devil. He’s had a good season, but really stood out as the team’s best overall defenseman in Week 6 as well as the team’s second-best player.

Yegor Sharangovich hasn’t had the smoothest start to his sophomore season and was actually one of the team’s worst players against the Panthers, but turned it all around against the Lightning.

He recorded a whopping three points, including two goals that put the Devils ahead. He was the team’s best player in this one, recording a jaw-dropping Game Score of 3.61.

His two goals were his first two of the season and it’s been a long time coming for the talented goal-scorer.

The hope is this was the game that gets Sharangovich going. His offensive ability in that middle-six is going to be needed.

Jesper Bratt continues his solid season. He’s the only player that carried over to this list from last week’s.

Bratt wasn’t as strong as he was last week (much of that is due to the fact that his linemates also slowed down this week), but he was still very good. In fact, Bratt was the team’s best top-six forward this week.

He was middle-of-the-pack against the Panthers but was the team’s second-best player against the Lightning. Bratt has really been solid as of late and has looked more consistent than ever before.

Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *