New Jersey Devils: Kyle Palmieri’s production is exactly what the Devils need

New Jersey Devils. Kyle Palmieri (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils. Kyle Palmieri (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Kyle Palmieri is currently completing his fourth season with the New Jersey Devils. He has always been a solid player but never came close to a point per game scorer. Now, he is on a career pace at the best possible time.

Kyle Palmieri is the most improved player on the New Jersey Devils this year. Last season, he only had 44 points in 62 games played. At the time of this writing, he already has 26 in 28 games played.

The Devils are currently well outside of the playoff picture and are last in the Eastern Conference Standings.

They are also in the middle of a rough West Coast swing.

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But, after another multi-goal game in Anaheim, his fifth multi-goal game of the season, he is doing exactly what the Devils needed.

My biggest concern with the New Jersey Devils going into this season was wondering who was going to help out Taylor Hall.

Hall won the MVP last year and it was partially due to how far away he was in points scored compared to the rest of his team. Hall carried the Devils.

This year, that could not happen again. One great player does not work in hockey too often.

So, this season the Devils needed to get someone who would score, not break the pace Taylor Hall set, but keep close with him.

To refresh your memory, Hall led the Devils in points last year  by 40 over points. His 93 led the Devils with Nico Hischier‘s 41 being the second most.

But this year, and this is why Palmieri is having a great season, Hall has 31 points so far and Kyle Palmieri has 26.

That gap is still large, but reasonable. This essentially means the Devils have an actual threat to score outside of just Hall, who is just now getting back to form.

What is even better for Palmieri is he is scoring goals. He is also being more of a two-way player. Palmieri leads the Devs in goals with 18. He also has +/- of 0.

That is not an elite number, but the Devils break even when he is on the ice essentially. Palmieri is not a defenseman so that is pretty admirable that he is still not in the negatives.

Really, it shows more how often he is scoring goals.

But, at the end of the day, what he is really doing is complementing Taylor Hall. Hall is a great player still, but now is getting some more help.

Hopefully, this is something that becomes sustainable for the Devils. Palmieri is under contract through the 2020-2021 season.

The Devils are not winning. But that is for reasons beyond Palmieri. The Devils are awful on the road, rarely win games when they go into OT, and struggle on defense with a -14 goal differential.

But, once the Devils start spending some money, let their talent develop, get back to normal with their goaltending, they can hope to rely on Palmieri.

Nothing is guaranteed in hockey, but when the Devils start winning again, it’s going to be helpful to have this kind of production. Hall and Palmieri can be a solid 1-2 punch.

Although the Devils success really depends on anyone having a lot of production that helps Hall, it is encouraging to see who that might be.

It looks like it might be Kyle Palmieri.

Next. This season for the Devils should have been expected. dark

The best part is, Nico Hischier is still learning and is poised to break out at any time.