ESPN is reporting that new Devils’ coach John MacLean wants to shift the newly-rich Ilya Kovalchuk to the right wing and create arguably one of the scariest tandems in the NHL. This move not only bumps all three Devils forwards up on your depth charts (resurgence of Zach Parise’s 94 points, anyone?) but it also creates a better outlook on the Devils’ season. Since acquiring Kovalchuk in early February, the Devils narrowly missed their division win and sauntered into the playoffs only to meet an early exit to the Flyers. The Devils were often criticized for a lack of scoring down the stretch and it makes you wonder why Kovalchuk didn’t find himself on this line more often when the games counted.
MacLean claims it’s just an experiment for now but the prospect of dual-position eligibility and a top-line role makes Kovalchuk the best early target for more improved play this season.