Quick hits: On the Jesper Bratt injury & Drew Stafford signing
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On Jesper Bratt's injury
I feel horrible for Bratt. He's surely been looking forward to playing a meaningful game in his home country since the day it was announced the team was going. To suffer a fluke injury just prior to suiting up has to be awful for him.
While it's not exactly good news for the Devils, either, I think Noesen will be able to handle himself as a stop-gap.
Noesen is thought of as a defense-first player – and that is true – but it's not like he is completely inept offensively. Last season he finished 4th on the Devils in 5v5 points and 4th in shots on goal/60. That's not bad for a role player who was often used on the shutdown line.
He also has a positive history with Pavel Zacha. In ~150 5v5 minutes together, they controlled 51.87% of the shot attempts and 52.42% of the scoring chances.
If he goes to the dirty areas and is willing to shoot, he should do OK alongside Zacha and Marcus Johansson.
On Drew Stafford
My take on the signing is really usage dependent. If he is going to stick around as a rotational forward who steps in once in a while if someone is banged up, that's not the end of the world. I'd rather he take that job than a prospect whose development would be stunted sitting out all the time.
Stafford is well past his prime but he scored at an 11-goal pace last season despite shooting only 3.75% at 5v5. He can still pot one every now and again.
Now, if Stafford ends up playing a decent chunk of games – and getting power play time for some reason – my thinking will be much different, especially when someone like Nick Shore remains available in free agency.
Luckily, Stafford looks to be the 14th forward as J.S. Dea, who was expected to be scratched in the opener, will be the one taking the vacant spot in the lineup.
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