It is always good to spitball ideas about possibly combinations even if NJ adds one or two more pieces before camp. This gives us an idea of the looks we may see moving forward. Also, with 12 days left in my deployment its a good way for me to kill time. Here is what I would like to see going into camp.
Taylor Hall - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri
Zajac really improved this past season, he seemed to actually focus some efforts on offense. This line is a below average first line in the NHL but as Zajac gets passed by Hischier and hopefully McLeod, the line will improve. Palmieri and Hall seemed to click and a full season together should have Palmieri back over 30 goals. This line has one elite driver and two complimentary players.
Adam Henrique - Nico Hischier - Marcus Johansson
I really thought hard and long about the 2nd and 3rd lines. Do you look for balance with Henrique on the 3rd line or do you support Hischier as much as possible and I decided on the latter. I believe Hischier will be a driver, maybe not in his first year but watching him at the WJC against players 2 years older, he carries the puck and pushes the pace. Johansson is a driver as well, his style should mesh well with the rookie. Henrique is a complimentary player who should finally put up some better shot totals and maybe close 30 goals again.
Pavel Zacha - Michael McLeod - Blake Speers
This is the definition of the kid line. This is a great combination of speed and skill that should put a lot of shots up against the opposition off the rush. All 3 players center last year with McLeod and Speers bring very good on faceoffs, this should allow this line to cheat on faceoffs and gain possession early in shifts. This line will be very exciting.
Joseph Blandisi - Brian Boyle - Stefan Noesen
This should be a very competitive 4th line in the NHL that should create quite a bit of offense. Boyle is great on faceoffs and finishes quite often for a 4th liner. Blandisi drives play and his playmaking skills should be an asset with two bangers. Boyle should give this line a semblance of stability in the defensive zone.
Andy Greene - Damon Severson
Why not stack one pairing, atleast 1/3 of the time we will be able to create offense. They worked well in the past and Severson should be able to take another step forward with some more offensive players up front.
John Moore - Steven Santini
Now it's just throwing names together and hoping it sticks. NJ needs more defensmen.
Mirco Mueller - Ben Lovejoy
Who knows, maybe Mirco Mueller turns out to be a stud.