Beyond any reasonable doubt, Taylor Hall is the New Jersey Devils’ Most Valuable Player this season. The former first-overall pick leads the Devils in goals (33), assists (52) and points (85) in 71 games played this season. For comparison, the next closest point-producer on the team is Nico Hischier with 49 points in 76 games. Hall rode a 26-game point streak earlier this season and was one of only two players to do that in recent history. His points-per-game ratio also placed him in great company as he posted similar numbers to Wayne Gretzky during his stretch. The 26-year-old winger is shooting at a 13% clip this season, and has come up big when his team needed him the most.
Whenever Hall is on the ice, he is typically the most noticeable player out there. He is all over the place, using his speed to create chances in the offensive zone, pestering defenders on the forecheck, using his body to separate players from the puck, or making solid defensive plays. Hallsy is also a key contributor on the Devils powerplay and penalty kill. When the puck his on his stick, he is always a threat as he has near-perfect vision to set up teammates or find open spots on the net that he can exploit to make opposing goalies look silly with his wicked-wrister.
With nine games remaining in the regular season and the Devils fighting for their playoff lives, expect Hall to continue to rise to the occasion and elevate his game down the stretch. Tonight, Jersey’s team is set to take on the Penguins in Newark and Hall will need to be at his best if the Devils want to come home with a critical two points. If Jersey qualifies for the playoffs in a little over a week, #9 in red and black will be one of the main reasons why. If the Devils are able to make noise in the playoffs against one of the top seeds, it will very likely be Hall that has a hand in the majority of Devils goals and key plays.