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The Devils' dangerous Top Six

The New Jersey Devils' top six forwards are as dangerous as it gets.

As of June 28, the Devils have their top six locked in place. Timo Meier signed an eight-year deal shortly after the news of acquiring Tyler Toffoli in a trade from Calgary. These two players will be key pieces to what could be one of the best top-six forward groups in the league.

Just like last season, captain Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes will lead the way down the middle. During the year, it became apparent that general manager Tom Fitzgerald needed to find different players to play on Jack Hughes' wing. Nico Hischier already had a good connection with Jesper Bratt and Dawson Mercer, so it was hard to break them up.

The first line will be Bratt at left wing, Hischier as center, and Mercer at right wing. Since Nico is a defensive forward, two creative wingers complement his play style very well. Not only do these players complement each other well, they all already have chemistry since they played with each other last season.

This is likely our top line that will play more defensive roles, as Hischier and Mercer are brilliant defensive forwards. For example, if we are defending a one-goal lead at the end of a game, this might be the line head coach Lindy Ruff puts out there.

The second line will have Meier at the left wing, Hughes in the center, and Toffoli at the right wing. Hughes is a creative playmaker who needed scoring wingers. Last season, Meier had 40 goals and Toffoli had 34. This goal-scoring ability will let Hughes be as creative as he wants. Hughes is a creative player, but this season, he has proved himself to be a goalscorer, leading the Devils with 43 goals in 78 games.

The second line should be our goal-scoring line. If you add each player's goals from last season, this line would have scored 117 goals. This is the line that should be put out when we try to tie a game up in the last few minutes.

Having Meier on this line also brings a bit of grit. Coming in at 6'1" and 220 lbs., Meier will be there for Hughes and Toffoli if someone hits them the wrong way. Having this type of player around a guy like Hughes is essential because it sends a message to other teams.

Toffoli would like to sign an extension with the Devils, so this top six might be one to watch for a few years.

With the addition of Toffoli and Meier in the top six, Tomas Tatar will be testing free agency.

This is the projected lineup; all these players can be shuffled around if someone has better chemistry with another player.

Gabrielle Nordstrom

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