PP players are quite easy to pick up through UFA. What NJ seems to find are players who can outplay the opposition 5 on 5. I am going to work in a 3 year chunk since it is impossibe to possibly look that far ahead.
3rd RW Brunner 28-31 (Low NHL miles)
1st/2nd LW Henrique 24-27
3rd CJosefson 23-26
2nd C Zajac 29-32
2nd/3rd LW Matteau 20-23
3rd/4th RW Silso 26-29
1st/2nd RW/LW Boucher 20-23
2nd/3rd C Quenneville 18-21 (won't make team now)
3rd LW Sekac 22-25 (Possibly)
This is not to mention toolsy shooters like Pietila, Black, Johnson and Coleman who will likely be ok possession players at the minor league level or roles at he NHL level.
I don't understand this post at all. Are the numbers their ages? Why are they listed like that? Are these people supposed to be good 5 on 5? If so, how do you know?
He's still relatively young, but it sounds like he hasn't reached the "Maybe it's actually ME" stage yet. He wasn't very good in the NHL and he wasn't very good in the AHL either (126 GP, 28 G, 38 A, 66 Pts). It could be that he's just not very good.
His AHL numbers are what stand out to me. In the NHL he showed some flashes that might make you think that he was a great player who was being misused (or just who hadn't developed his all-around game enough yet). But if he was as good as he seemed (or as we hoped), he should be lighting up the AHL by now. He either lacks the talent or the drive, but he simply doesn't seem like he's going to make it as an NHL player. Too bad, because he does have some skills that are above-average NHL quality or possibly even elite level. Too many holes in his game though.
One point I will take serious issue with - the idea that the Devils don't have any A Defensive prospects. Nobody does. Well okay every so often a Doughty or Pietrangelo comes along - these guys can't miss. But that happens once every five years. The rest of the top D come from who knows where.
Duncan Keith has 51 points in 154 AHL games. Shea Weber is a point every other game D in the WHL. Zdeno Chara, well I don't even need to bring up his early years in the NHL. All of this is a way of saying that a lot of what seperates the top defenders from run of the mill #1 D evolves in the NHL. Jon Merrill could be a really excellent D - he's not going to score a lot of goals, but everything else he could do well. Maybe not. But I wouldn't count him out, and I wouldn't count out Gelinas from becoming a top offensive D, and I wouldn't count out Severson either. Or even Larsson - 38 points in 66 AHL games is pretty good for a 20-21 year old.
I agree with you here. Defensemen are not like forwards, you can't easily say who is going to be a dominant one in a few years the way you can with some of the top forwards who get drafted. I would not be shocked if Merrill, Gelinas, Larsson, or Severson were our best defenseman in a season or two. They all seem to have the tools, it's just a matter of who can put it all together, get confident, and stay healthy.