If Devils Players Were Members of The Avengers

Unless you were too fully invested watching the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders game on Friday night, you and the rest of the movie-loving universe were out watching Avengers: Endgame. Sure, that overtime 1-0 victory by the Hurricanes was epic, but not as epic as some infinity-stone snatching from Earth’s mightiest heroes (I promise there won’t be any spoilers for any Devils fans who haven’t seen it yet).

While I glanced at my phone only once or twice during the movie to check some scores from around the National Hockey League, I started to think that what if the New Jersey Devils were like the Avengers?

Taylor Hall Is Iron Man

Taylor Hall set career-highs with 39 goals and 93 points this season. -NJ.com

Anyone who’s watched the Iron Man movies knows that Tony Stark didn’t necessarily want to be in the situation he was thrust in, and neither was Taylor Hall. In Robert Downey Jr.’s case, it was getting kidnapped in a cave, and in Taylor Hall’s case, it was that glorious trade from Edmonton (I’ll never get tired of saying it was “one for one”). But once they got to where they were, they fully embraced their identity and set their team up for success, all the while being the best and most successful member of the team. Besides, anyone who has seen the Avengers movies know that it’s tony Stark that puts the team on his back, and we all know that’s what the reigning hart Trophy winner did to lead the Devils to the playoffs last season.

Nico Hischier is Spider-Man

Devils Forward Nico Hischier – NJ Devils

Yes, Nico Hischier is Spider-Man, and by Spider-Man I mean the Tom Holland version, not the long forgotten Toby Maguire or Andrew Garfield versions. Hischier’s the bright-eyed new kid who’s thrilled to be a part of the team. Don’t let his excessive eagerness distract you from the fact he’s immensely talented and a valuable asset. Because of this, he often tries to go the extra mile to contribute as much as he can. Luckily for Hischier, and Tom Holland’s Spiderman, they both have a lot of heart and a tremendous amount of growing to do. And the fact they both wear red and black helps as well. Also, I can’t shake the image of Hischier getting injured during that game and turning to the coach to say “Mr. Hynes, I don’t feel so good,” out of my head.

Travis Zajac is Ant-Man

Devils Forward Travis Zajac-AP

When you compare Ant-Man to the other Avengers such as Ironman, Captain America, and Thor, it looks like his contributions pale in comparison. In reality, they’re more valuable than anyone could ever imagine. How many times have us Devils fans said that Zajac wasn’t good enough without realizing the solid contributions he makes to this team as an underrated defensive forward. While that doesn’t mean he deserves first-line minutes, that’s a different argument for a different time. But for being the unsung and underappreciated hero of the Avengers, Zajac earns the Ant-Man comparison. Besides, does no one else see the resemblance between Paul Rudd and Zajac? Seriously? I mean they don’t look like twins, but they look enough alike that Paul Rudd could play Zajac in a movie about Zajac’s life.

Mackenzie Blackwood is The Hulk

MacKenzie Blackwood makes a save
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Blackwood gave Devils fans a lot to love in his first year in New Jersey, and there’s a lot to be expected of him the second time around. Although there were a few low lights to his season (such as the nine-goal loss in Calgary), for most of the season he was a brick wall that barely any puck could get past. Blackwood is on his way to being large and in charge, just like Bruce Banner when he gets more than a little angry. Add a dash of former Devils’ defenseman Colin White and the resemblance would be to uncanny.


Kyle Palmieri as Captain America

Devils Forward Kyle Palmieri -Getty Images

As the best American-born player on the team, it seemed fitting to give Palmieri the title, but his lack of success on an international stage held me back from christening him with the movie-loving shield. Even if we called him Captain America, that’s a title that the likes of Patrick Kane and TJ Oshie seem more deserving of in this hockey world.

After his prior success at World Juniors, I was also considering Joey Anderson for this role. After all, he literally was captain of America. Just like Palmieri fell victim to other players who claim the same title, Anderson was dealt the same fate. If there was any player that had the mix of Spider-Man’s young and eager ability to learn and Captain America’s patriotism, it would be Anderson.

Give it a few years, when Hollywood inevitably reboots the Avengers franchise, and Jack Hughes will get this spot no doubt.

Former Devil Marcus Johansson as Thor

Devils forward Marcus Johansson -NJ.com

They look strikingly similar, not to mention the shared Norse heritage, but lack in size. Johansson may be a lean and mean skating machine, but he looks like he opts for the meal of kale smoothies while Thor eats pure mutton chops. Johansson looks like he could be Thor’s long lost third brother. There’s Thor: God of Thunder, Loki: God of Mischief, and Johansson: God of Civil War-themed Twitter accounts. If Thor had a brother that decided to stray away from the family business of Norse mythology and go into ice hockey, it’d be Johansson.

Former Devil Keith Kinkaid as Rocket Raccoon/Star Lord

Neither of them were particularly good at their jobs (I still appreciate your run last year to the playoffs though, Keith), but provided all the comic relief. I remember the emoji tweets more than I remember half of his victories.

Devils Legend Ken Daneyko as Thanos

Imagine what Daneyko looks like (bald Dano, not early 1980’s weird curly hair Dano). Now imagine him purple. Boom, there you go. But instead of Infinity Stones, he has Stanley Cup rings.


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