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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world, I've decided to take the plunge and write daily profiles for members of the New Jersey Devils.
I'll be commenting on the year each player just had as well as their projected role and expectations for 2019-20. I've written 11 thus far, with Mirco Mueller being the most recent player profiled
Today we're taking a closer look at Taylor Hall.
33 games played, 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists), 19:41 average time on ice
2.54 points/60, +4.99 CF% Rel, +13.19 GF% Rel, +8.27 xGF% Rel, 0.991 PDO
Numerous injuries, which the Devils took their time with given the position they were in, didn't really allow Hall the chance to defend his Hart Trophy. When he did play, he was nothing short of spectacular. Hall averaged 2.54 points per 60 at 5v5, which was more than his output in 2017-18 when he won MVP. Hall's key relative metrics – namely Corsi For%, Expected Goals For%, Goals For% – were also as good or better across the board. While his power play production dipped, as expected, from 10.65 points/60 to 6.42 points/60, Hall still finished 1.99 points/60 ahead of the next closest teammate. He was still leading the charge in every way imaginable.
Better health would have been nice to see but the Devils almost certainly wouldn't have Jack Hughes if Hall played, say, 50 games so I'm not going to complain.
Hall averaged a remarkable 1.33 primary assists/60 at 5v5. That number was only bested by Mitch Marner, Sidney Crosby and Artemi Panarin.
Hall could be in the conversation for another Hart Trophy if he is able to stay healthy. He'll consistently be centered by elite young talents like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, and there are an abundance of quality wingers who could cycle through opposite side Hall on the top line. There is much more talent, and depth, to work with on the power plays as well. Hall is in a great situation to pile up points in bunches and it's not at all a stretch to say the Devils could go from picking 1st overall to claiming a playoff spot. If that's the case, and Hall has a great season, he's going to get a ton of attention.
numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com
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