New Jersey Devils notes: On Zetterlund's Calder chances, penalty troubles, and more
Zetterlund's remarkable efficiency has him sniffing around the Calder race. Plus, notes on a concerning trend, Bratt's next deal, and Hughes' passing.
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A few New Jersey Devils notes on this off-day:
Zetterlund for Calder?!?
Probably not; but he is dark horse in the Calder race and more of a threat than you'd think.
Part of the reason is that this year's rookie class – outside of Matty Beniers – lacks real name-brand difference makers. But Zetterlund deserves a lot of credit for being efficient and making the most of his ice time.
While Zetterlund has played plenty of games on the 'top' line alongside Nico Hischier, he has also spent quite a bit of time playing a depth role in the bottom-6. It hasn't mattered; the results have been there consistently.
Over the last seven games, Zetterlund has played 12 minutes or fewer six times. He has found the scoresheet in all but one of those games.
Zetterlund, clearly, has been remarkably efficient; and not just from the standards of a rookie. He has averaged 3.13 points per 60 minutes, which leads all rookies.
League-wide, that ties Zetterlund with Brayden Point for 53rd in the entire NHL. 53rd!
Beyond the efficient point production, Zetterlund has provided the Devils with very strong on-ice impacts.
At 5v5 they have controlled more than 61% of the expected goal share with Zetterlund on the ice. Oh, and the Devils have out-scored opponents 15-3 in that time.
We know how good this Devils team is and yet the Devils have posted drastically higher shot, chance, and goal shares with Zetterlund out there.
Beniers is going to win the Calder if he keeps scoring. It doesn't much matter how efficient Zetterlund is or how well he drives play. If Beniers produces at a 70 point pace while helping lead the charge for a surprisingly good Seattle Kraken team, the Calder is his.
But Zetterlund is doing just enough to hang around and pounce if Beniers stumbles or misses time.
A concerning trend
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