The New Jersey Devils are the next Metro division team we are featuring in our season primer series.
Use the below Tabs to view Devils info for this upcoming season, as well as some numbers from last year.
2013-14 record: 35-29-18, 88 points
Where they finished: 6th in the Metropolitan; tied for 10th in the East; tied for 19th in the NHL
Player Salaries: $65,890,000 (22)
Cap Payroll: $64,723,334
Cap Space: $4,276,666
Forwards: $45,250,000 (14)
Defensemen: $11,706,667 (6)
Goalies: $4,600,000 (2)
In: Corbin McPherson D, Martin Havlat RW/LW, Mike Cammalleri LW/C, Scott Clemmensen G
Out: Anton Volchenkov D, Mark Fayne D, Maxim Noreau D
2014-15 Team Outlook:
Last year, the New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs the past two seasons since going to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. Scoring has been a problem for the team in each one of those seasons, finishing near the bottom of the league in goals for on a yearly basis.
In 2012 when they were firing on all cylinders, the team had the likes of Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, both of which they have since lost for absolutely nothing in return. The fact that the Devils still remained in the playoff conversation last season (only missed out by five points), says something about how quickly general manager Lou Lamoriello can rebuild a team.
This offseason Lamoriello focused on removing the problems up front, signing a few notable free agents (Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat) who have made solid careers out of providing offense. With the new acquisitions, the Devils now have a plethora of offensive wingers at their disposal, some might even say they have too many, as it once again could force Patrick Elias into a centre position. Elias struggled with faceoffs last season, winning only 40.8 per cent of his draws, but head coach Peter DeBoer has already went on record stating that he is likely to return to that spot.
The offense should be improved with the new signing, although it is still heavily based on veterans and could seriously use an injection of youth going forward. Because of the depth at the wing positions, the Devils possess a very interchangeable top-nine, with almost all of the players having played top-six roles on other teams in the past. With that said, on the first-line is likely to be Cammalleri and Jaromir Jagr, with Travis Zajac in the middle. The second-line could have Elias in the middle, with Adam Henirque (who can switch with Elias at any time), and likely Michael Ryder. Danius Zubrus or Stephen Gionta will likely centre the third line, with the other being in the middle of on the fourth line. Their bottom-six wingers will include some combination of Martin Havlat, Ryane Clowe, Tuomo Ruutu, Damien Brunner, Steve Bernier, and Jacob Josefson. Other forwards looking to make the team will be veterans Cam Janssen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, and Joe Whitney, along with prospects Stefan Matteau and Reid Boucher.
Although the offensive unit will be relying on older players, the Devils’ defense-core will see a few youngsters get some serious minutes this season. One of those players is Eric Gelinas, who scored seven goals and 29 points in 60 games last season, but remains a RFA at this point. Andy Greene will be on the first-pairing, but his partner remains to be seen. The logical choice would be Marek Zidlicky, however, if the Devils elect to go that route then the last defense-pair will see two of the younger players together, something teams like to avoid. When you look at the minutes handed out last season, it would appear that Jon Merrill would be the most likely to take on big minutes, as he played over 19 minutes a night as a rookie. If that is the case with Merrill on the first pairing, it could be Zidlicky, with former 4th overall pick Adam Larsson skating alongside him on the second pair. On the last pairing would then be veteran Bryce Salvador, along with Gelinas once he is signed. Peter Harrold appears to have the inside track on being the extra defenseman, although prospects Raman Hrabarenka, Alexander Urbom, and Reece Scarlett will give him a run for his money.
In net there is a noticeable absence, as Martin Brodeur will not be returning after 22 years with the organization. Corey Schneider will be taking over as the legitimate number one goalie after spending his entire career to date battling for that position, first on Vancouver with Roberto Luongo, and the with Brodeur on the Devils. Brought in former Devil Scott Clemmensen, who could battle with Keith Kinkaid for the backup position. Prospect Scott Wedgewood waiting in the wings for his opportunity to make the NHL.
With the new firepower on the offensive end, mixed with the high-end young skill at the back, the Devils should have a shot at making the playoffs in 2014-15. Much of their success will still rely on the way that the old guard in Jagr and Elias perform, so the Devils better hope they don’t finally show their age. New Jersey will be battling for one of the last seeds in the East with several other teams such as Toronto, New York Islanders, Columbus, and Washington so actually making the playoffs won’t be an easy task. Expect the Devils to finish somewhere between the seventh to tenth spot in the standings when it’s all said and done.
Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.
The depth chart listed below was taken from NHL.com’s 30-in-30.
Mike Cammalleri – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr
Patrik Elias – Adam Henrique – Michael Ryder
Marty Havlat – Dainius Zubrus – Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe – Stephen Gionta – Tuomo Ruutu
Jacob Josefson – Steve Bernier
Andy Greene – Adam Larsson
Jon Merrill – Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas – Bryce Salvador
|Steve Bernier||R||6′ 3″||215||31-Mar-85||QUEBEC CITY, QC, CAN|
|Damien Brunner||R||5′ 10″||185||9-Mar-86||ZÜRICH, CHE|
|Mike Cammalleri||L||5′ 9″||190||8-Jun-82||RICHMOND HILL, ON, CAN|
|Ryane Clowe||L||6′ 3″||225||30-Sep-82||ST. JOHN’S, NL, CAN|
|Patrik Elias||L||6′ 1″||195||13-Apr-76||TREBIC, CZE|
|Stephen Gionta||C||5′ 7″||185||9-Oct-83||ROCHESTER, NY, USA|
|Marty Havlat||R||6′ 2″||210||19-Apr-81||MLADA BOLESLAV, CZE|
|Adam Henrique||C||6′ 0″||195||6-Feb-90||BRANTFORD, ON, CAN|
|Jaromir Jagr||R||6′ 3″||230||15-Feb-72||KLADNO, CZE|
|Tuomo Ruutu||R||6′ 0″||205||16-Feb-83||VANTAA, FIN|
|Michael Ryder||R||6′ 1″||200||31-Mar-80||BONAVISTA, NL, CAN|
|Travis Zajac||C||6′ 3″||205||13-May-85||WINNIPEG, MB, CAN|
|Dainius Zubrus||R||6′ 5″||225||16-Jun-78||ELEKTRENAI, LTU|
|Andy Greene||5′ 11″||190||31||30-Oct-82||TRENTON, MI, USA|
|Peter Harrold||5′ 11″||180||31||8-Jun-83||KIRTLAND HILLS, OH, USA|
|Bryce Salvador||6′ 4″||215||38||11-Feb-76||BRANDON, MB, CAN|
|Marek Zidlicky||5′ 11″||190||37||3-Feb-77||MOST, CZE|
|Cory Schneider||6′ 2″||200||28||18-Mar-86||MARBLEHEAD, MA, USA|
A look at the New Jersey Devils top prospects heading into this season. Each source may use different classifications as to if a player is deemed a prospect or has graduated on from a prospect.
|Dobber Prospects||Hockeys Future||The Hockey News|
|1||Reid Boucher||Steven Santini||Reid Boucher||Jon Merrill||Stefan Matteau|
|2||Stefan Matteau||Damon Severson||Damon Severson||Damon Severson||Steven Santini|
|3||Keith Kinkaid||John Quenneville||Stefan Matteau||Reid Boucher||Damon Severson|
|4||Damon Severson||Stefan Matteau||Keith Kinkaid||Stefan Matteau||John Quenneville|
|5||Steven Santini||Reid Boucher||Joe Whitney||Steven Santini||Reid Boucher|
|6||John Quenneville||Blake Pietila||Blake Coleman||John Quenneville||Keith Kinkaid|
|7||Seth Helgeson||Joshua Jacobs||John Quenneville||Seth Helgeson||Graham Black|
|8||Scott Wedgewood||Ryan Kujawinski||Scott Wedgewood||Joshua Jacobs||Reece Scarlett|
|9||Raman Hrabarenka||Artur Gavrus||Reece Scarlett||Graham Black||Blake Pietila|
|10||Ryan Kujawinski||Reece Scarlett||Joshua Jacobs||Blake Coleman||Scott Wedgewood|
* Dobber Prospects – Prospects based on relevance in a fantasy-hockey keeper league, not actual talent on the ice.
New Jersey Devils Draft History from the past five years
|1||30||John Quenneville||C/LW||Brandon (WHL)||6′ 1″||190|
|2||41||Joshua Jacobs||D||Indiana (USHL)||6′ 2″||196|
|3||71||Connor Chatham||RW||Plymouth (OHL)||6′ 2″||222|
|5||131||Ryan Rehill||D||Kamloops (WHL)||6′ 2″||210|
|6||152||Joey Dudek||C||Kimball Union HS (NH)||5′ 11″||180|
|6||161||Brandon Baddock||LW||Edmonton (WHL)||6′ 3″||205|
|2||42||Steve Santini||D||US-NTDP||6′ 2″||205|
|3||73||Ryan Kujawinski||C||Kingston (OHL)||6′ 2″||200|
|4||100||Miles Wood||LW||Nobles (HS MA )||6′ 1″||160|
|6||160||Myles Bell||LW||Kelowna (WHL)||5′ 11″||212|
|7||208||Anthony Brodeur||G||Shattuck St. Mary’s HS (MN)||5′ 10″||177|
|1||29||Stefan Matteau||LW||USNTDP (USHL)||6′ 1″||207|
|2||60||Damon Severson||D||Kelowna (WHL)||6′ 1″||175|
|3||90||Ben Johnson||C||Windsor (OHL)||5’11”||186|
|4||96||Ben Thomson||LW||Kitchener (OHL)||6′ 3″||205|
|5||135||Graham Black||C||Swift Current (WHL)||5’11”||173|
|5||150||Alexander Kerfoot||C||Coquitlan (BCHL)||5′ 9″||153|
|6||180||Artur Gavrus||C||Owen Sound (OHL)||5′ 9″||175|
|1||4||Adam Larsson||D||Skelleftea AIK (Swe)||6′ 2″||205|
|3||75||Blake Coleman||C||Indiana (USHL)||5’10”||198|
|4||99||Reid Boucher||C||USA U-18 (USHL)||5’10”||192|
|5||129||Blake Pietila||LW||USA U-18 ( USHL )||5’11”||189|
|6||159||Reece Scarlett||D||Swift Current (WHL)||6′ 0″||155|
|7||189||Patrick Daly||D||Benilde – St.Margaret (HS-MN)||6′ 0″||178|
|2||38||Jon Merrill||D||USA U-18||6′ 3″||200|
|3||84||Scott Wedgewood||G||Plymouth||6′ 1″||195|
|6||174||Maxime Clermont||G||Gatineau||6′ 0″||190|
|7||204||Mauro Jorg||F||Lugano||6′ 0″||192|
Performance and Usage Charts for the New Jersey Devils from last season, from Extra Skater.
Media Guide created by Jessica Levine who can be found on twitter @jessicalevine