While the New Jersey Devils have not been enjoying the very best of periods as a franchise, the team was once a top Stanley Cup contender.
They have been on the periphery of the finals for a very long time, between mismanagement of the roster, unlucky injuries, and a propensity to pick the wrong players from the draft.
But, despite not having the most success in the past ten to fifteen years, there have still been some great players who’ve worn this team’s uniform. Below is a rundown of the top five New Jersey Devils who played for the team in the past decade.
1. Travis Zajac
While there have been many great New Jersey Devils from the past decade that fuel the latest New Jersey Devils odds, Travis Zajac sits near the very top of that list. A superstar player who achieved everything in his NHL career, Zajac did not stay with the Devils for very long.
He eventually moved on from the team to further his career after realizing they couldn’t match his ambition. But, during the time he was a New Jersey Devil, he showed incredible skills on the ice. He is currently their fourth all-time points scorer, along with being their fifth-highest appearance maker.
Fans always respected Zajac, even if he was not on the winning team, as they knew he was giving 100 percent of his effort and ability.
2. Andy Greene
A terrific skater and leader for the New Jersey Devils, Andy Greene stood out in the team for his outstanding ability. He was a staple in the Devils franchise for more than ten years but was unable to lead the team to any meaningful glory in the playoffs.
Greene does deserve his spot in the franchise’s top ten for the past twenty years, as he gave his entire prime to the organization. He was a top skater during a tough era for the team, and fans will always appreciate that about him.
3. Patrick Elias
A native of the Czech Republic, Patrick Elias spent the best years of his career with the New Jersey Devils. While he was not able to taste Stanley Cup glory with the franchise, he will always be remembered as one of their best-ever players.
Elias managed three seasons with more than 50 points, which is remarkable in a team that was rarely the best. He also managed to finish second in the points tally for all NHL players in 2011–2012, managing 78 points through his 36 goals and 52 assists.
4. Zach Parise
A fan favorite among the most die-hard New Jersey Devils supporters, Zach Parise certainly worked hard to achieve that cult-like status with the team’s fanbase. He only spent three seasons with the team in the past decade but emerged as a superstar for all of those campaigns.
Parise managed a hugely impressive 30 goals during each of his three campaigns as a New Jersey Devil in 2010–2011, 2011–2012, and 2012–2013. While fans will hope to see their beloved franchise win silverware in the future, they will be hard-pressed to ever find a no. 9 as good as Parise.
5. Martin Brodeur
Another outstanding talent who donned the New Jersey Devils jersey for several years, Martin Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time wins leader. While he never got to play in a team that went all the way in a Devils jersey, he did boast a longevity that very few players could match.
Fans of the team will always look back on Brodeur’s time as a Devil so fondly, as he was one of those players who could easily form a connection with his team’s supporters. Brodeur may not have enjoyed his best years in New Jersey, as he was past his prime from 2010 to 2014, but he still put in some excellent performances for the team.
The Future Has Yet To Unfold
While Devils fans will always remember the above five players fondly, they are not likely to have many great memories of the teams those players were a part of. The franchise has not been a Division champion since 2009–2010 and has yet to reach a Stanley Cup final since 2002–2003.
However, there was a time, particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s, when the Devils were up there as a top team in the NHL. Whether they faced off against teams home or away, they were able to put up a good showing and usually emerged victorious.
So, although success has eluded the New Jersey Devils in recent times, fans of this historic NHL franchise continue to hope for a return to better days in the 2020s and onward.