Nosek, on the wrong side of 30, will add some veteran presence to a young Devils team that could use a little more experience. Nosek is a 6’2 bottom-six forward who specializes in puck battles and faceoffs.
Today we’re going to break down what the addition of Nosek means for the Devils.
What Nosek Brings to the New Jersey Devils
Nosek is no stranger to playoff hockey. He’s made the playoffs every season since the 2017-18 campaign totaling 52 games. Nosek has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in that span.
GM Tom Fitzgerald has stressed the importance of adding players like Nosek to the roster to help get the younger guys acclimated to NHL hockey and what it takes to grind through a playoff run.
Adding a player like Nosek to the system should help players like Alex Holtz, Graeme Clarke, and Nolan Foote on and off the ice.
On the Devils team website, he’s listed as a left-winger but I wouldn’t buy too much into this. We know once Ruff starts to shuffle his lines, things tend to become unpredictable. With Nosek, Ruff will have more options to move players around where he feels he has a matchup advantage or if an inevitable injury occurs.
Lastly, many Devil fans know by now that Michael McLeod may possibly be involved in the Canada investigation. If McLeod is indeed involved, he most likely will incur an indefinite suspension. The addition of Nosek provides the Devils with some insurance at fourth-line center if they lose McLeod.
One of Nosek’s best traits over the span of his career is winning faceoffs. Nosek has won 54.7% of his draws throughout his career and has never been below 50%. Last season alone, he won 59% of his draws with the Bruins.
With how good Nosek is on the faceoff, there is a chance we see Nosek utilized the same way Ruff would use McLeod. Sometimes Ruff would throw McLeod out there in the offensive zone or overtime to win the faceoff. Nosek will be a good situational addition to the roster.
Above Average Penalty Killer
I wouldn’t quite call Nosek “elite”, but he is capable of filling the Yegor Sharangovich role. Nosek doesn’t have the breakaway speed or shot of Sharangovich, but he is reliant and an all-around above-average situational defender.
Of 12 penalty killers to play 50+ minutes for Boston last season, Nosek was on for 4.28 goals against per 60 placing him middle of the pack in xG suppression. Nosek also averaged 2:33 of shorthanded ice time per game, which ranked him second on the team.
It’s obvious the signing of Tomas Nosek doesn’t move the needle a ton. The signing is strictly for depth, penalty killing, and faceoffs.
The presence of locker-room leadership and playoff experience will add to what Fitzgerald was looking for in the offseason. Sitting at 6’2 will also add some size to the Devils as well. Nosek doesn’t play a physically grueling game, but he knows how to use his body in dirty areas of the ice.
Nosek is not going to give the Devils much offense, if any. He plays a pretty simple game and was signed to add stability in areas the Devils were lacking. However, it’s a smart move by the Devils to add depth to their bottom six and insurance if Mcleod receives an indefinite suspension.
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