New Jersey Devils: Dougie Hamilton to undergo jaw surgery

The star defenseman has suffered a broken jaw and will undergo surgery.

Leen Amin

Leen Amin

Just as the New Jersey Devils seemed to be turning things around, they were greeted with some brutal news on Tuesday.

Superstar defenseman Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken jaw and is set to undergo surgery. There won’t be a timetable for his return until the surgery is complete.

This is terrible news for the team’s best offensive-defenseman. Hamilton is tied for third on the team in points with 20. Only five players have scored more goals and only two have more assists than he. He leads the team in power play goals and assists.

This isn’t Hamilton’s best season, primarily because of his poor defense, but the offense he’s contributed has been fantastic. His absence will be felt at even-strength, but primarily on the power play.

Hamilton has literally been the only bright spot on the second-worst power play in the game. It’s terrifying to thing what the man-advantage will look like without him.

Christián Jaroš is slotting in Hamilton’s stead on Tuesday and there’s a chance that the Devils will play him until Hamilton does return. They acquired Jaroš to improve the team’s defensive depth and if they don’t use him now, then when will they?

The only possible “pro” to come out of this situation is that the Devils might (emphasis on “might”) become better defensively. Hamilton hasn’t bee the most defensively responsible player this season.

Although Jaroš is no Hamilton, he’s known more for his defense than offense. The entire blueline group might focus more on defense now that Hamilton is out.

Ryan Graves, the other Devils’ defensive star acquired this offseason, will have to step up big time in Hamilton’s absence.

He’s been the team’s best overall defenseman and although he’s done well offensively, he’s going to be expected to contribute even more in the opponents’ zone.

A lot can go wrong and a lot can go right, but we do know that Devils fans will be sitting at the edge of their seats until Hamilton returns.

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