Sunday, October 9, 2016

New Jersey Devils 2016-17 season preview

     The New Jersey Devils were involved in a huge trade this off-season when they acquired LW Taylor Hall in exchange for only defenseman Adam Larsson. Larsson was a solid defenseman for New Jersey but Hall's impact offensively should boost this New Jersey team. New Jersey had a lot of contracts up this year but the players they didn't sign were not that important. The notable ones are the losses of Bobby Farnham (MTL), Jordin Tootoo (CHI), and Stephen Gionta (PTO w/ NYI). Patrick Elias and Tyler Kennedy are all still available in free agency. RW Vernon Fiddler was signed to be a fourth liner. They also signed defensemen Ben Lovejoy (3 years), Kyle Quincey (1 year) and Brandon Gormley (1 year) for depth.
     Captain Andy Greene and youngster Damon Severson lead a defensive core which can always be better. Hall, RW Kyle Palmieri and C Adam Henrique can make a pretty filthy line.  New Jersey's all-time point leader Patrik Elias remains unsigned but might come back at age 41. Cory Schneider is undoubtedly a top 5 goalie while Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood will fight for a backup spot.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Devils selected C Michael McLeod with the 12th overall pick. They decided to move back a spot after trading the 11th pick to Ottawa for the 12th overall pick and a third rounder. By doing that, they missed out on C Logan Brown, who I think will have a better future but McLeod will be pretty solid soon.
The Devils' projected lines look like this:

 Taylor Hall- Adam Henrique- Beau Bennett
 Michael Cammalleri- Travis Zajac- Kyle Palmieri
 Reid Boucher- Pavel Zacha- Devante Smith-Pelly
 Sergey Kalinin- Jacob Josefson- Vernon Fiddler

On defense is:
      Andy Greene- Damon Severson
      John Moore- Steven Santini
      Kyle Quincey- Ben Lovejoy
     Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid are in net. G Scott Wedgewood, LW Luke Gazdic and D Jon Merill are scratched and C Marc Savard is injured.
 Finally, for my prediction, the New Jersey Devils, a team slowly on the rise will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.

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