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thefiestygoat

2013-14 Prospect Thread

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Hockey Prospectus New Jersey Devils Top 10

 

 

New Jersey Devils Top 10 Prospects

1. Jon Merrill, Defense
2. Damon Severson, Defense
3. Steve Santini, Defense
4. Eric Gelinas, Defense
5. Stefan Matteau, Left Wing
6. Alexander Urbom, Defense
7. Reid Boucher, Left Wing
8. Ryan Kujawinski, Center
9. Reece Scarlett, Defense
10. Arturs Gavrus, Left Wing

 

Organizational Ranking: 28th

 

System Overview

Despite their low organizational ranking, all is not hopeless for the Devils' farm system. They have several quality defense prospects, and pretty decent names in the 7-9 range. New Jersey, however, lacks a true top-end prospect, and their depth is below average. There also is not much much in terms of forward prospects in this pipeline, but that factor did not contribute to the low ranking. Several of New Jersey's mid-tier prospects have notable upside, but also carry an equal amount of risk.

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I'm glad to see they're not overrating Boucher. It's interesting to see Urbom sliding down that list. It doesn't seem like he'll ever get a shot in New Jersey with the way things are now.

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we'll have to show Schneider that he'll get goal support to re-sign him long term, no goalie want to have a 1 goal margin every game and no room for error.

That is such a fallacious statement.

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That is such a fallacious statement.

 

Indeed. If so, Lundqvist would've bailed years ago.

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Indeed. If so, Lundqvist would've bailed years ago.

 

Lundqvist?  How about Brodeur?  NJ has ranked top 10 in offense, what, 4 years since he's been here?  (93-94, 99-01)

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Also on Pronman's list I think he's underrating Blake Pietila, though if he goes on upside along people like Gavrus and Kujawinski are better.  Still, I think Pietila has a much better chance of being a regular NHLer.

 

Re:  Kujawinski - I didn't realize he was 2nd on his team in scoring.  That's a good sign - hopefully Kingston improves and he can too.

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Also on Pronman's list I think he's underrating Blake Pietila, though if he goes on upside along people like Gavrus and Kujawinski are better. Still, I think Pietila has a much better chance of being a regular NHLer.

Re: Kujawinski - I didn't realize he was 2nd on his team in scoring. That's a good sign - hopefully Kingston improves and he can too.

He was slated to be a first rounder earlier in the year, so he obviously has some fine tools. I like how Conte took a lot of boom/busts this draft rather than the Ben Thomson's/Johnson's of the world

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Also on Pronman's list I think he's underrating Blake Pietila, though if he goes on upside along people like Gavrus and Kujawinski are better.  Still, I think Pietila has a much better chance of being a regular NHLer.

 

Re:  Kujawinski - I didn't realize he was 2nd on his team in scoring.  That's a good sign - hopefully Kingston improves and he can too.

 

When you're talking about forwards anyway, I'd much rather have upside with risk in team's pipeline than safe bets like Pietila.  You can generally find a Jay Pandolfo or Ryan Carter level talent when the need arises, so long as the GM is sharp enough to know that you need those types of players to succeed.  Matt D'Agastini, another eminently average NHLer, can be a useful player for a competitive team.

 

Not saying you ignore the safe bets entirely, but they don't really advance the ball so much. 

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When you're talking about forwards anyway, I'd much rather have upside with risk in team's pipeline than safe bets like Pietila.  You can generally find a Jay Pandolfo or Ryan Carter level talent when the need arises, so long as the GM is sharp enough to know that you need those types of players to succeed.  Matt D'Agastini, another eminently average NHLer, can be a useful player for a competitive team.

 

Not saying you ignore the safe bets entirely, but they don't really advance the ball so much. 

 

This is silly for a number of reasons.

 

A:  There is no such thing as a safe draft pick.  You are drafting 18 year old players to play in a league where the average age is 27. 

 

B:  The Devils couldn't find a Jay Pandolfo talent easily in 2008 - they paid him $2.5 million a year, which is nearly 5 times the minimum salary at the time.  And somehow he was still in the NHL nearly 5 years later.  Matt D'Agostini is currently making the NHL minimum.  It is not 'easy' to find these players - the Devils have struggled for years to find adequate players for their bottom 2 lines, and have either overpaid free agent age players or dealt draft picks to get them.  If Carter and Bernier replicate last season, how much do you think they cost on the open market?  I think 1.5M per is a decent estimate.

 

C:  Blake Pietila was not taken as a safe draft pick - he was drafted in the 5th round.  Even if safe draft picks exist, which they don't, they certainly don't exist in the 5th round.

 

While I agree with you in principle, Pietila is not an example of what you're talking about.  At all.

Edited by Triumph

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This is silly for a number of reasons.

 

A:  There is no such thing as a safe draft pick.  You are drafting 18 year old players to play in a league where the average age is 27. 

 

B:  The Devils couldn't find a Jay Pandolfo talent easily in 2008 - they paid him $2.5 million a year, which is nearly 5 times the minimum salary at the time.  And somehow he was still in the NHL nearly 5 years later.  Matt D'Agostini is currently making the NHL minimum.  It is not 'easy' to find these players - the Devils have struggled for years to find adequate players for their bottom 2 lines, and have either overpaid free agent age players or dealt draft picks to get them.  If Carter and Bernier replicate last season, how much do you think they cost on the open market?  I think 1.5M per is a decent estimate.

 

C:  Blake Pietila was not taken as a safe draft pick - he was drafted in the 5th round.  Even if safe draft picks exist, which they don't, they certainly don't exist in the 5th round.

 

While I agree with you in principle, Pietila is not an example of what you're talking about.  At all.

 

By "safe" pick, it doesn't matter where in the draft he's taken.  So that Pietilla was a fifth rounder is irrelevant.  I'd rather take a chance on a Reid Boucher or Gavrus, or someone like that.  If anything, you take those risks in the later rounds.  And it's funny you bring up how much Pandolfo got paid, considering all we heard was how awful his contract was. 

 

Also, bottom line talent has not been the Devils problem, the past couple of years.  Their fourth line is good for what it is, and all of them make around the league minimun, and all were unwanted free agents.  In fact, all the talk is about the logjam on bottom two lines.   Their problem, especially this year, is scoring on the top lines, although that might change if Jagr, Clowe and Ryder exceed expectations.

Edited by Daniel

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How can any 5th round pick be safe when almost none of them make the NHL? If a player was a likely NHL player or a "safe" bet then they'd be taken much earlier, regardless of upside.

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How can any 5th round pick be safe when almost none of them make the NHL? If a player was a likely NHL player or a "safe" bet then they'd be taken much earlier, regardless of upside.

 

True, though "safe" is a term of art I suppose.  As someone said, "safe" is Ben Johnson or Ben Thomson.     Upside with risk are Gavrus, Myles Bell, and I guess you could even say someone like Loktionov. 

 

I haven't seen any type of statistical analysis, but bottom round goons, by the eyeball test anyway, seem to make it in the league at a fairly high rate.  Nevertheless, if it were me, a GM would get an electric shock if he ever tried to draft one.

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By "safe" pick, it doesn't matter where in the draft he's taken.  So that Pietilla was a fifth rounder is irrelevant.  I'd rather take a chance on a Reid Boucher or Gavrus, or someone like that.  If anything, you take those risks in the later rounds.  And it's funny you bring up how much Pandolfo got paid, considering all we heard was how awful his contract was.

 

Okay, fine, but again, there's no such thing as a safe pick.  High-risk picks get worse and riskier as the draft goes on.  Gavrus had 2 major concussions and had a subpar year in the OHL this year.  He's an enormous longshot to ever be a 15 minute a game NHLer.  It happens, but very seldom.  I agree that teams should take these 'chances' - the mistake teams make (and NJ made it with Ben Johnson) is drafting players who have certain roles and figuring they can envision them in that role at the NHL level.

 

 

Also, bottom line talent has not been the Devils problem, the past couple of years.  

 

Oh really?  You mean the team that used Brad Mills for 27 games in 2011-12 and still continues to use Tim Sestito and Stephen Gionta, doesn't have a problem with lower line talent?  And again, Carter and Bernier are going to get paid after their contract is up.  The players currently in the organization who look like they could fill in that role are Stefan Matteau and uhh..

 

Their fourth line is good for what it is, and all of them make around the league minimun, and all were unwanted free agents.  In fact, all the talk is about the logjam on bottom two lines.   Their problem, especially this year, is scoring on the top lines, although that might change if Jagr, Clowe and Ryder exceed expectations.

 

Sure.  You're not likely to change that through drafting players that low in the draft.  Sure, you've got Datsyuk and Zetterberg.  There's not many of those players out there.

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I asked Corey about Pietila on twitter without knowing his stats really slowed down after the WJC. The eye test alone, Pietila passed with flying colors, he clogs lanes superbly, is very intelligent and has a very quick stick at the blueline. In terms of raw skills, he is an excellent skater, strong on his skates and aggressive on the forecheck. Pre WJC +3 shots a game was very impressive as well.

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Okay, fine, but again, there's no such thing as a safe pick.  High-risk picks get worse and riskier as the draft goes on.  Gavrus had 2 major concussions and had a subpar year in the OHL this year.  He's an enormous longshot to ever be a 15 minute a game NHLer.  It happens, but very seldom.  I agree that teams should take these 'chances' - the mistake teams make (and NJ made it with Ben Johnson) is drafting players who have certain roles and figuring they can envision them in that role at the NHL level.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh really?  You mean the team that used Brad Mills for 27 games in 2011-12 and still continues to use Tim Sestito and Stephen Gionta, doesn't have a problem with lower line talent?  And again, Carter and Bernier are going to get paid after their contract is up.  The players currently in the organization who look like they could fill in that role are Stefan Matteau and uhh..

 

 

 

 

Sure.  You're not likely to change that through drafting players that low in the draft.  Sure, you've got Datsyuk and Zetterberg.  There's not many of those players out there.

 

 

The amount of playing time that Brad Mills and Tim Sestito got isn't what kept the Devils back. And Sestito got 6 games and then 18 games the year before.  That, and Brad Mills' 27 games a few years ago doesn't sound like a crisis to me.   And with Gionta, it was not for lack of better alternatives that he gets the playing time that he does.  Josefson got sent down to the AHL while Gionta was still playing.  DeBoer and Lou, rightly or wrongly, just seem to like him. 

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The amount of playing time that Brad Mills and Tim Sestito got isn't what kept the Devils back. And Sestito got 6 games and then 18 games the year before.  That, and Brad Mills' 27 games a few years ago doesn't sound like a crisis to me.   And with Gionta, it was not for lack of better alternatives that he gets the playing time that he does.  Josefson got sent down to the AHL while Gionta was still playing.  DeBoer and Lou, rightly or wrongly, just seem to like him. 

 

Patrik Elias:  career high in ice time per game.

Zach Parise:  career high in ice time per game.

Ilya Kovalchuk:  set a career high in ice time per game, eclipsed it in 2013 for some reason

Dainius Zubrus:  had the most minutes per game he had as a Devil

 

The Devils leaned heavily on their top players in 2011-12.  Is that why they were nearly run out of the building in the Cup Finals?  I can't say.  But I can't say that I love the coaching staff having to play their top guys that much because the bottom guys couldn't pull their weight.  The bottom lines aren't as important as the top lines, but punting them is a large mistake - NJ's punted one or both of them a few too many times in the last few years.  Part of it is because they haven't developed a player besides David Clarkson who plays significant minutes on them (Josefson may now be one).

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Buzzing the Net: Gatineau Olympiques move goalie; Anthony Brodeur has clearer path to QMJHL foothold

 

 

It's also topical since the 'Piques just traded 18-year-old sophomore goaltender Eric Brassard to the Charlottetown Islanders.

I still have my doubts about him, but hopefully this will help him get some playing time now.

 

EDIT: Glancing at their roster, looks like Robert Steeves could be the starter with Alexandre Duckett, Anthony Brodeur, and Simon Bergeron battling for the back up spot.

Edited by thefiestygoat

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The amount of playing time that Brad Mills and Tim Sestito got isn't what kept the Devils back. And Sestito got 6 games and then 18 games the year before. That, and Brad Mills' 27 games a few years ago doesn't sound like a crisis to me. And with Gionta, it was not for lack of better alternatives that he gets the playing time that he does. Josefson got sent down to the AHL while Gionta was still playing. DeBoer and Lou, rightly or wrongly, just seem to like him.

Patrik Elias: career high in ice time per game.

Zach Parise: career high in ice time per game.

Ilya Kovalchuk: set a career high in ice time per game, eclipsed it in 2013 for some reason

Dainius Zubrus: had the most minutes per game he had as a Devil

The Devils leaned heavily on their top players in 2011-12. Is that why they were nearly run out of the building in the Cup Finals? I can't say. But I can't say that I love the coaching staff having to play their top guys that much because the bottom guys couldn't pull their weight. The bottom lines aren't as important as the top lines, but punting them is a large mistake - NJ's punted one or both of them a few too many times in the last few years. Part of it is because they haven't developed a player besides David Clarkson who plays significant minutes on them (Josefson may now be one).

They GOT to the Cup finals in large part because they got scoring from their bottom line, who were especially effective in the Rangers series. Seven goals during the playoffs for your bottom line where none of them are on the PP is pretty darn good. They were also pretty effective scoring goals during last years regular season, which tells you there's some trend there, and it might get better if you consider Gionta to be a very weak link.

The Devils got run out of the Cup finals just like LA smacked around every other team they played, because they were a much better team. That's especially when you take into account the fact that Kovalchuk was obviously playing at something like 60 percent, and the injury was not something you can chalk up to him getting too much ice time. But even so, they were a goal post away from winning game 1, and they lost game 2 in OT as well.

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Getting back to the whole "safe" thing that Daniel brought up. I agree that there is no such thing as a "safe" pick, but I do think there is such a thing as a "safe skill set." A player like Pietila who may not have much offensive upside but is a strong skater, understands the game at an above average level, and plays well defensively would be a player I'd consider to have a "safe skill set" since he's more likely to contribute as a NHL player than a upside offensive guys like Boucher or Gavrus whose overall skill sets are lacking. I'm not sure if that is what Daniel was getting at but that's my opinion. I can understand why some people wouldn't want to use the word "safe" when talking about prospects though since there is no such thing as a "can't miss prospect."

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They GOT to the Cup finals in large part because they got scoring from their bottom line, who were especially effective in the Rangers series. Seven goals during the playoffs for your bottom line where none of them are on the PP is pretty darn good. They were also pretty effective scoring goals during last years regular season, which tells you there's some trend there, and it might get better if you consider Gionta to be a very weak link.

 

 

They got 2 goals in the regular season, none of them coming before March.  All players involved are UFA after next year and none are younger than 28.

 

 

 

The Devils got run out of the Cup finals just like LA smacked around every other team they played, because they were a much better team. That's especially when you take into account the fact that Kovalchuk was obviously playing at something like 60 percent, and the injury was not something you can chalk up to him getting too much ice time. But even so, they were a goal post away from winning game 1, and they lost game 2 in OT as well.

 

NJ basically didn't outplay anyone from Game 4 of the Rangers series on.  The Devils had dominated the Flyers for 4 games and had dominated for long stretches against the Panthers.  But the Devils got absolutely worked in the Finals.  Might they have been tired?  I don't know.  Point is, it'd be nice to have a bottom 6 made up mostly of guys NJ drafted or signed as UDFA, instead of having to comb through other people's trash.  I wouldn't do it at the cost of a top 6.

 

EDIT:  Yeah, I see what you're saying fiesty, I just don't like the implication.  Pietila isn't one of these guys who NJ drafts who can't score at all and for some reason they're convinced this guy can cut it as a pro.  He's holding his own offensively and while he'll almost certainly lose a lot of that offense as a pro, he seems like he might have the skills necessary to be a decent 10th forward type.

Edited by Triumph

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For anyone that cares, I caught the third of Team White versus Sweden. Sweden won 4-2. Three of their four goals came on the power play including the final two. Devil prospect Steve Santini played. I put up a post on New York Puck.

 

Team USA Blue battles Finland now. Stefan Matteau takes part along with some other Battle prospects.

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Sunday 8/4
WJC Evaluation Camp
USA White lost to Sweden 4-2
D Steve Santini: No points or PIM, +/- not kept on game sheet

Corey Pronman on Santini: "Quality. Won't be a big offense guy but makes stops, hits and good outlets."

 

USA Blue lost to Finland 6-5 (OT)
LW Stefan Matteau: No points or PIM, +/- not kept on game sheet

Corey Pronman on Matteau: "Below-average. That 2nd line hasn't done much of anything since the 1st period."

 

Matteau LW on a line with RW Adam Erne and C Dominic Toninato.

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lol, my mistake Erne played LW when I seen him.

Edited by Jas0nMacIsaac

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Sunday 8/4

WJC Evaluation Camp

USA White lost to Sweden 4-2

D Steve Santini: No points or PIM, +/- not kept on game sheet

Corey Pronman on Santini: "Quality. Won't be a big offense guy but makes stops, hits and good outlets."

 

USA Blue lost to Finland 6-5 (OT)

LW Stefan Matteau: No points or PIM, +/- not kept on game sheet

Corey Pronman on Matteau: "Below-average. That 2nd line hasn't done much of anything since the 1st period."

 

Matteau LW on a line with RW Adam Erne and C Dominic Toninato.

 

I watched the entire second game. Matteau wasn't too good. I wrote a whole review on the blog. Teuvo Terevainen was a beast for Finland. Looks like the Blackhawks have great scouts. Connor Carrick was our best player.

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I watched the entire second game. Matteau wasn't too good. I wrote a whole review on the blog. Teuvo Terevainen was a beast for Finland. Looks like the Blackhawks have great scouts. Connor Carrick was our best player.

Nice recap, seems like it was a wild finish! Just found your accounts on twitter so I gave you a follow. Nice to have you back on the forum, seems like it's been a few years.

 

Also somewhat off topic, but everytime I see the name Connor Carrick I can't help but picture Manchester United's Michael Carrick on skates. It's throwing me off a bit.

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