8. New Jersey Devils
To begin the Metropolitan division defensive rankings, we welcome the New Jersey Devils. Last season, the Devils were among the worst defensively in the NHL. Coming into the 2017-18 season there is no reason to believe they will be any better.
New Jersey has been without a top defenseman since making the trade that brought in forward Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Now, the leader of that group is captain Andy Greene. However, this year, arguably the team’s most reliable defenseman will be ex-Ranger John Moore.
Outside of Greene, Moore, and Ben Lovejoy, the Devils will be rostering a young defensive group. Damon Severson, Steven Santini and Michael Kapla are all 22 years old. Santini and Kapla experienced their first taste of NHL action last season.
Severson is the only one of the group that seems ready to break out. In 2016-17, he recorded a career-high 31 points. However, a testament to his team’s awful play around him was his -31 plus/minus.