Daneyko: Taylor Hall Beloved In New Jersey; Has "Very Good" Chance To Win Hart Trophy

Ken Daneyko believes Hart is the Devils' most dynamic player since Ilya Kovalchuk

April 18, 2018 - 9:15 am

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With the New Jersey Devils down 0-2 in their first-round playoff series against Tampa Bay, Taylor Hall stepped up. He had a goal and two assists in New Jersey’s 5-2 win Monday to give the Devils life.

Hall’s ability – and production – have made him a fan favorite.

“He’s beloved here – obviously rightfully so for the way he’s played,” Devils TV analyst Ken Daneyko said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They chant MVP every time he touches the puck for the last month of the season. He’s got a very good chance of winning a Hart Trophy. The Devils haven’t had a player this dynamic since 2012 when they went to the Cup Final and in their last playoff appearance when they had Ilya Kovalchuk. He has been a special player and he’s been a leader. He loves what general manager Ray Shero and coach John Hines have done here to put together this team, and the direction they’re going, the style of play, and he really has become a leader.”

The No. 1 overall pick in 2010, Hall spent the first six seasons of his career in Edmonton before getting traded to New Jersey in June 2016. He was initially upset by the trade, but if his stats are any indication, he’s gotten over it. He set career-highs in goals (39) and assists (54) this season.

“It took him time last year for sure,” Daneyko said. “He was disappointed, sure, and I love that because he wanted to be part of a solution in Edmonton. He hadn’t made the playoffs ever being a No. 1 overall pick, and he missed it five straight years in Edmonton, he gets traded all of a sudden. But boy, are we glad to have him here. He is spectacular and he’s become a complete player. His game has matured to the point where he doesn’t try to overdo things, doesn’t try too much. But I’ll tell you: He is dynamic every shift and a pleasure to watch.”

The Devils will try to even their series against Tampa Bay in Game 4 on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“The Devils found a way (Monday) against a really good Tampa Bay Lighting team,” Daneyko  said. “The team keeps scrapping and clawing here, trying to get back in the series and at least put up a fight here. They got it done (Monday). They’re going to have to try again (Wednesday).