I suppose one could consider this "news" to be a surprise. You know, if they hadn't spent a single second watching the Devils get off to a shocking 6-2 start, and considered Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt to be nothing more than inexperienced teenagers as opposed to two of the team's top five point getters and vital cogs in their top six.
In all seriousness, Nico Hischier solidified a long standing spot in the lineup when he went full-Datsyuk before his first preseason game had even reached it's conclusion. As far as Jesper Bratt is concerned, he frequently makes it tough for the untrained eye to differentiate whether he's the upstart 6th round pick or the first overall pick. The argument could have been made to send him to London after his nine game audition, but that argument grew laughably weaker just about each and every time he took the ice.
The bumps and bruises of an 82 game schedule are sure to come, but these kids (along with Will Butcher) simply bring too much to the table - in a multitude of facets - to start worrying about how they'll adjust to the length of a season. The concept of giving young players time to develop shouldn't be dismissed, but it also should be prioritized when the presence of the young players in question is what's currently driving the development of their team.
Despite what their current record might show, the Devils are still very much in the midst of a rebuild. That said, it's incredibly encouraging to finally see some of the foundational pieces given the opportunity to settle into place. Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt have already proven they are long for the National Hockey League, so they might as well continue to bring their skill and creativity to a roster that's unquestionably benefited from it since Day 1. That's what the excitement-starved fan in me wanted from the first drop of the puck, but it's what their play has absolutely demanded since.