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Where does Marian Studenic fit in with the New Jersey Devils this season?

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New Jersey Devils right winger Marian Studenic (67): Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

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At the start of the current season, Marian Studenic was a striker who had an uncertain future with the New Jersey Devils. After making a good first impression in the closing stages of the 2020-21 season scoring his first NHL goal against the New York Rangers, many still expected the Slovak right-winger to kick off the season with the Utica Comets. However, with the increase in injuries and COVID cases, Studenic has found itself in 15 games so far this year.

With the extended season, the 2017 5th round selection spent a lot of time on the 4th row alongside a handful of players including Michael McLeod and Jesper Boqvist. Even if this is due to the lack of Ice Age, the problem remains that Studenic does not have to score a point this year. In fact, he didn’t get a positive +/- rating for the whole season. While it’s easy to consider Studenic less than NHL capable based on his stats, don’t be quick to write him off.

Studenic is actually high on the list of odds among the constant Devils 4th liners and has fallen victim to many good saves (he also missed the net a couple of times). Saturday night was proof that the goals will come as he keeps getting used to the NHL and seeing a potential increase in shift count.

The real question, however, is whether Studenic will have a place in the main squad when the team is back to full health. Marian is unlikely to keep his promotion if the Devils get their entire strikers back. New Jersey is already missing a ton of players from its health and safety logs. Yegor Sharangovich, Andreas Johnsson, Jesper Bratt, Nathan Bastian, Mason Geertsen, Alex Holtz and Pavel Zacha are missing for the time being. Additionally, the organization hopes Miles Wood can return sometime this season.

In summary, while this NHL experience is very valuable for Studenic and we have a good chance that he will become a mainstay in future seasons, 2022 is probably not “the” year for the 23-year-old. The taxi roster is a great opportunity for him to get a mix of experience and continue to grow into the player and goalscorer he will one day be.

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