Tuesday, September 12, 2017
New Jersey Devils 2017-18 season preview
Notable additions: LW Marcus Johansson, C Brian Boyle, D Mirco Mueller, RW Drew Stafford, D Will Butcher, D Brian Strait.
Notable subtractions: F Michael Cammalieri, F Beau Bennett, D John Merrill, C Jacob Josefson, F Devante Smith-Pelly, D Yohann Auvitu.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Taylor Hall - Adam Henrique - Kyle Palmieri
Marcus Johansson - Nico Hischier - Pavel Zacha
Miles Wood - Brian Boyle - Drew Stafford
Joseph Blandisi - Blake Coleman - Stefan Noesen
Hall is the star of the team. Henrique is a solid top-6 center, and has past chemistry with Hall. Palmieri is a good top line right winger. Zacha is a good young player. Hischier will need to adjust to the NHL. Stafford is underrated, and a pretty good top-9 winger. The 4th line is okay, but the three players on it wouldn't be on most NHL rosters.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Mirco Mueller - Damon Severson
Will Butcher - Andy Greene
John Moore - Ben Lovejoy
Mueller never got a chance to be a full-time starter with the Sharks, but will be one in Jersey. Severson is their best defenseman, and just signed a six year extension. Playing with a vet in Greene can help Butcher, who's a rookie. Steven Santini can beat out Lovejoy or Moore for the starting role. Dalton Prout and Brian Strait are the other extra defensemen.
Schneider is a really good goalie, but injuries led him to having a horrible 2016-17. With Schneider down, Kinkaid had a better year than Schneider. Prospect MacKenzie Blackwood and Scott Wedgewood are the AHL goalies and will be called up if there's an injury.
I think the Devils still have a lot of work to do to be a Cup contender, or a playoff contender. I predict that they will miss the playoffs in 2017-18.