The New Jersey Devils saved us ready for a bit, however yesterday noticed them publish the roster of gamers who will seem on the upcoming Prospect Problem. John coated the announcement yesterday whereas additionally offering some particulars on the much less acquainted names to Devils followers. At present, I am transferring a bit in the other way, gamers who’re extra acquainted to those that observe the workforce, however possibly we needs to be holding some additional imaginative and prescient on and why when the workforce hits the ice
Who Ought to We Watch?
Kevin Bahl and Nikita Okhotiuk
Let’s begin with these two defenders who I will group collectively for the only real motive that considered one of them may very well be on the Devils opening night time roster. Whereas they’ve three different Utica defenders on the potential roster, in addition to a few different extremely touted defenders (extra on no less than considered one of them later), I believe many followers see considered one of these two making the workforce. The workforce did add Brendan Smith, however I do not assume anybody envisions him as an each night time participant at this level in his profession, so if both Bahl or Okhotiuk outplays him in camp, search for the winner of that contest to fit in behind Jonas Siegenthaler and Ryan Graves on the left facet.
Consequently, a poor displaying at this problem might spell catastrophe for one or each of those gamers. I am not saying it is the top of the world, and even the top of their possibilities to offer themselves as NHL materials, however outdoors of possibly one different identify, if these two are getting outplayed by prospects (be they on the identical or opposing workforce) it will not instill a lot confidence in them. If Bahl or Okhotiuk (or each) carry out poorly right here, making the workforce throughout coaching camp would possibly go from being an uphill climb to an insurmountable mountain.
Nemec is perhaps the least shocking identify on this checklist, as extremely chosen gamers at all times draw eyes to them throughout these potential tournaments. Nemec has the advantage of having performed towards males throughout his time in Slovakia, so it will likely be debatable as as to if the competitors is a step up or a step down for him. Extra importantly, nonetheless, he will probably be seeing how he performs on North American ice in addition to how he gels along with his fellow Devils prospects. The expectation and hope is that inside a couple of years, no less than a handful of those names will probably be becoming a member of up with the Devils’ present core to spherical out the roster, so seeing what chemistry a few of them have at this early stage might assist the workforce in the long term.
I anticipate sturdy video games from Nemec, no less than by way of making the right play. He is identified for his offensive sport from him, so seeing him contribute factors will probably be desired as nicely. So long as he makes himself identified this weekend, I’d chalk up his time to him at this match in Buffalo as successful.
Okay, possibly Holtz is even much less shocking to see on this checklist than Nemec, however for a special motive. Holtz has a couple of video games of NHL time beneath his belt and he did very nicely within the AHL final season; once more like I discussed with Bahl/Okhotiuk, a poor displaying right here shouldn’t be the top of the world. Nonetheless, contemplating his expertise of him and the way extremely touted he’s, the expectations on Holtz going into this match needs to be via the roof. As soon as play begins, I need to see him dominate; I would like him rushing by guys, I would like targets entering into, I need to nice passing.
Once more, Holtz being outplayed is not essentially a demise knell for his profession, however along with his growth path to this point, I need to see him be accountable for any sport he seems in over this weekend.
Nolan Foote and Graeme Clarke
One other pair in an identical boat, Foote and Clarke are a pair of 21 12 months previous prospects who if they don’t make the roster (each are trying like lengthy photographs proper now) could discover themselves as call-ups at totally different factors this 12 months. Whereas they don’t seem to be the very best on the depth chart, they’re two of the forwards who’ve some expertise within the group that the followers have excessive expectations of. I believe a robust displaying from both or each of those gamers would bode nicely as coaching camp approaches and will additionally give them some momentum to try to push for a fundamental roster spot.
Nico Daws and Akira Schmid
Okay, won’t be honest to deal with each of the goalies which can be anticipated to start out the season in Utica, however right here they’re on this checklist nonetheless! Schmid and Daws each noticed video games in New Jersey final season on account of accidents, and that may very well be the state of affairs once more if somebody forward of them on the depth chart goes down. Whereas it is nonetheless early of their careers and the hope needs to be that each do not get pushed into extra NHL motion, it will likely be attention-grabbing to chart the expansion of each of those younger goalies. I would not say I anticipate one or each to dominate, however I might like to see sturdy showings from each to display that the pipeline for these in web is on observe.
Because the Devils prospects soar into motion tomorrow night time, we need to hear from all of you as to your ideas in regards to the match. Do you assume these gamers are an important names to look at? Is there anybody left off of my checklist that your focus will probably be on? How necessary do you assume it’s to get outcomes from gamers we have now excessive expectations of throughout this match? Depart any and all feedback beneath and thanks as at all times for studying!