It Took Until The 10th Game For Jesper Bratt To Handsomely Reward The Devils For Extending His 9 Game Audition
Let me make one thing very clear, that headline conveniently uses a coincidence to continue pushing a potentially false narrative. I obviously can't say for certain, but I think we were already relatively far removed from any hypothetical demotion of Jesper Bratt. The concern that he might be sent back to Juniors was likely just a manifestation in the minds of fans that didn't want to get their hopes up about the unbelievably entertaining 19 year old doing what was once thought impossible of a 6th round pick by remaining in New Jersey for the long haul. Still, the fact that said decision paid off in the biggest of ways one day after it would have had to have been officially made is incredibly fitting. Nine games as a creative offensive force and a shockingly efficient penalty killer basically made a tenth game a virtual certainty, but I'll be damned if he didn't turn into his coming out party.
The dump-in (not shown in the first clip) and forecheck that led to Taylor Hall's first goal? The no-look backhand pass out of trouble that led to Adam Henrique's no-look backhand pass out of trouble that led to Taylor Hall's second goal? The casual and accurate one timer that finished off the picturesque passing play that he started and ultimately helped the Devils finish off a pretty lackluster effort against a winless Coyotes team? Honestly, everything Jesper Bratt did on Saturday night might as well have had a bow on it, so excuse me for treating his ironically timed three point night like it was the inevitable unwrapping of the gift that gets to keep on giving.
The kid is an absolute stud, and if his chemistry with Taylor Hall was a sign of things to come then there are a hell of a lot of good things to come. Even more so than skill, the calmness to his game is what allows him to not look out of sorts playing alongside veterans. If that keeps up then his point total might be able to survive the eventual decline of a shooting percentage that is currently ludicrous (40%).