The New Jersey Devils signed Jaromir Jagr this offseason right after the defection of Ilya Kovalchuk to Russia.
The expectations for the 41-year-old winger were middling as his skills are obviously not what they were 10 years ago, but fans expected him to contribute. He has shown that he has a lot left in the tank to give this team. He has a goal in each of the past two games, one in which came from his veteran prowess and perfect positioning. His line, which also includes Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus, was the only reason why the Devils were in the last game.
As long as he can stay healthy, which is something that has never been a problem for him, Jagr can really help with this team’s offense. He is using his big frame to get underneath during offensive plays. He goes toe to toe with anyone along the boards. He is giving it all to a team that has had to fight every minute for their three points.
The Devils have had great offensive production from all their new acquisitions. Damien Brunner has been the best offensive force on the entire team, scoring three goals in four games. Michael Ryder scored two himself. It seems like Lou Lamoriello fixed the offensive problems that has plagued them since the departure of Zach Parise.
Jagr is going to be an integral part of the Devils’ turnaround. He is still a 50-60 point player. He is going to be a very positive player for the rest of the season. He is going to be part of an uphill battle, and he is still the best player on the ice on some nights. In the worst-case scenario, at the least the Devils can turn him into a draft pick midseason.