Projected Forward Lines For Next Season

According to www.dailyfaceoff.com, the predicted forward lines next season for the Devils will be:

1st Line

Henrique-Elias-Palmieri

2nd Line

Cammalleri-Zajac-Zubrus

3rd Line

Boucher-Josefson-Matteau

4th Line

Ruutu-Gionta-Tootoo

Let’s analyze line by line. For the 1st line of Adam Henrique, Patrick Elias, and Kyle Palmieri, I think that the line is not bad. Henrique and Palmieri are good for a first line. Elias is getting too old for me to be on a first line. He is 39 and I think he hasn’t been producing for the last 3 seasons. His last good season was 2011-12 when he had 78 points. If anything, I think the Devils should try to move him. It might be hard because he is so old and some teams might not want to take on his contract. Possible teams that might be interested are the Panthers, Sabres.

For the 2nd line of Mike Cammalleri, Travis Zajac, and Dainius Zubrus, I think that Cammalleri is just fine on the second line and could even play on the first line. Although Zajac does take good faceoffs, he hasn’t been producing to expectations and there are better fits like maybe Tyler Bozak for the position. Devils fans know that Zubrus is just plain awful. He doesn’t perform and I think he is just lazy on the ice. Maybe 1 or 2 goals here and there but that’s all you’re gonna get.

For the 3rd line of Reid Boucher, Jacob Josefson, and Stefan Matteau, I think that putting Boucher and Matteau on the 3rd line is perfect. Matteau and Boucher have had a lot of time to develop and are still close to getting to their full potential, but for now the situation is just fine. Josefson is a natural 3rd liner, and is one of the better ones the Devils have and we all remember the shootout goal against the Winnipeg Jets, which was outstanding in my opinion.

For the 4th Line of Tuomo Ruutu, Stephen Gionta, and Jordin Tootoo, I think that it is just fine. You have Ruutu that still has some grit left in him, you have Gionta who can kill penalties and is a great forechecker, and then you have Tootoo who gets in the dirty areas and finishes hard, clean checks. Overall, I really like the 4th line and I also think we have one of the best 4th lines in the NHL.

Those were my insights on the projected lines for the 2015-16 season. Leave any questions/comments below!

Looking Ahead: Adam Henrique

As Devils fans, we first saw Adam Henrique in the 2011-12 regular season. In that season, Henrique played 74 games, scoring 16 goals. He had 35 assists for a total of 51 points. In his rookie year, Henrique did come up clutch at times. That year, when the Devils made it into the playoffs under new head coach Peter DeBoer, Henrique made a lasting impact in every series, which included the Flyers, Panthers, Rangers, and Kings. 

What to Look Forward To

Henrique does have star potential. Selected in 2008 in the 3rd round (82nd Overall), he has had more than enough years to grow. I think with the young team the Devils are building, Henrique will start to become a real threat. Last year in the 2014-15 season, Henrique mostly played on a line with Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez. Henrique did well on that line with Jagr and Gomez, better than some other lines I’ve seen him on. That’s why for the past 2-3 seasons, Henrique has been the top leader in points. I think with stats like that, there’s no doubt that Henrique is the future star player for the Devils. Last season’s stats are not the best for him in my opinion only registering 16 goals, 27 assists, and 43 points in 75 games played. But then again I think he will finally have a great season next year having a chance to play with Mike Cammalleri and Kyle Palmieri, who I think is a great fit for Henrique. 

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. And I have one question for you. Will Henrique ever be a franchise player?

Looking at the Devils Next Season

Some things have changed this offseason for the Devils. One thing being a new General Manager Ray Shero and new head coach John Hynes. Another reason being some offseason moves the Devils made this year.

1. Acquiring Pavel Zacha in the Draft

Fans already knew that the Devils had a lot of interest in Zacha, so when the Devils picked him up, fans were excited. In his first season in North America, Zacha registered nearly a point-per-game in 2014-15, finishing with 34 points (16-18—34) in 37 games for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. His final ranking for the NHL Scouting was 8. Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards said that Zacha has ”high-end skill and is an excellent competitor; he plays an excellent two-way game. He’s physical and solid on his skates and can separate guys from the puck.” In my opinion, I think that selecting Zacha was a great move by Shero, and hopefully Zacha is ready for next year.

2. Trading for Kyle Palmieri

The Devils found a potential scorer to fill that need for some more scoring players. Last season with the Ducks, Palmieri had 14 goals,15 assists, and 29 points in 57 games played. Now the total might not be thrilling but I think he has the potential to score more goals and get more points. The only reason those numbers were so low is because he had better players in Perry and Getzlaf, who easily had the upper hand in points because they are elite players. Now that Palmieri is playing with more middle, lets say mediocre players like Zajac and Henrique and all of the veterans, he now has a greater chance at showing the type of game he plays.

3. Making the Right Moves

Overall in the season, I think the Devils made all the right moves to ensure and solidify that this is indeed a young, rebuilding team. For example, at the Trade Deadline, moving Zidlicky and Jagr. I think Jagr did well and helped us out over the last 2 seasons, but he is in his old days and is sort of losing his stride. Do I think he’s a terrible player? Nope. Just not the type of player the Devils need right now with all the young players. As far as the Zidlicky trade, although he was one of our best defensmen the last 2 seasons, I do like that he is gone. He has great offensive awareness and can come in clutch at times, but his defense would be that game changer that you don’t want. Also, he does take stupid penalties at times, which is a part of the game changers you don’t want. Overall, shipping those guys out was a good thing for the Devils because it allows so much room for more young talent like Damon Severson and Steve Santini for example.

The 2015-16 season for the New Jersey Devils should be an interesting one to watch. With the new staff and some new players, I think the Devils will be somewhat better this year. They just have to find the right combinations and continue what they have been doing and I think they’ll be alright. Will they make the playoffs? My prediction: No. We are not a cup contender yet but who knows? Maybe I’m wrong.

Let me know what you think and leave any questions, comments, and concerns below.

 

On the signing of Eric Gelinas

The Devils have re-signed defenseman Eric Gelinas to a 2-year deal. Gelinas, 24, had six goals and 19 points in 61 games for the Devils last season. He had NHL career highs of seven goals and 29 points in his first NHL season in 2013-14. Eight of his 13 goals have come on the power play. Gelinas agreed to salary abritration and was scheduled to have a salary arbritration hearing July 21.

What the does this mean for the Devils?

Now that they have Gelinas locked up for two years, things need to change. Gelinas was a A second-round pick (No. 54) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has a great, hard shot from the point, but still needs to develop defensively. Last year watching the Devils, I noticed that he took some bad penalties at bad times. This was a bit of a problem last year, but I think if you give him time, he will be a solid defensemen.

Overall, his defense is good. His discipline could mature as I said. Also, a great signing by the Devils to have a defensemen like this locked up.

Sound off in the comments section if you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns.