The New Jersey Devils open the season Thursday evening against the Boston Bruins and they will have a different look when they take to the ice. With Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt missing from the lineup, the Devils are hoping 2018 fifth-round pick Yegor Sharangovich is ready to make an immediate impact when the puck drops Thursday night at Prudential Center.
Yegor Sharangovich has really impressed the Devils coaching staff during training camp this season. And his hard work has earned the trust of Lindy Ruff as Sharangovich will play on the top line alongside Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri.
“When you break down his game, and you break down down some of those scrimmages, there’s a lot to like about his two-way game, ” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said to media on Wednesday. “He’s skated really well. I think an area he can help both Jack and Palms is, he sees the ice really well, he can get them pucks. If they get him the puck, he’s got a great opportunity to score. He’s proved that through some of these scrimmages.”
Entering camp, Yegor Sharangovich had a leg up on most of the players. While the players in North America were just training, Sharangovich was playing with Minsk Dynamo of the KHL. In 34 games while playing in Russia, Sharangovich recorded 25 points including 17 goals. There was a reason why the Devils brought him over for training camp. He had that scoring touch the Devils have been looking for.
However, there were questions and still are question marks about his scoring touch in the NHL. It is a different style of game, but in three scrimmages he produced several goals. Including two in the second scrimmage that really had the staff talking. His first goal was through traffic, but his second came off the rush and was a true snipe.
‘There is a reason he scored the number of goals he scored in the KHL,” Ruff said. “He gets himself in situations that he’s going to get opportunities. And I think when you get the opportunities, it’s what you do with them and he has been a good player for us.”
Sharangovich like others in the past has taken advantage of an opportunity that was given to him. With no Bratt in camp because of contract issues, which are now resolved, Sharagonvich was given the opportunity to shine. Having the opportunity to play on the top line with Hughes and Palmieri will really help his game.
Sharangovich believes that is why he had so much success in Russia to start the season.
“In the KHL, I played well because I think I played of minutes on the ice,” Sharangovich told the media. “And I played power play, penalty kill. It’s really good for my skills. On the ice, I’m comfortable when I play it. And when I come here, I’m just ready for camp because my physical skills were better because I played a tough game.”
Sharangovich has been given similar opportunities during training camp and has performed admirably. The Devils will need Sharangovich to have a major impact this season. Especially with Bratt still stuck in Sweden because of immigration issues and no timetable for when he will come over. Just look what Bratt did his rookie year when given the same opportunity.
This is a player you will want to keep an eye on for the Devils this season.
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