Here at Pucks and Pitchforks we try to keep you updated on all Devils news. Living in New Jersey the one thing I noticed, is that it’s hard to take a look at future New Jersey Devils. SO here I will give you our top 20 prospects in the Devils system. We will list a few prospects every couple days with a write up and stats on each.
To see Prospects 20-18, click here if you missed my previous article.
#17- Graham Black, C, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
This is one I struggled with, as Graham Black could easily be higher up on this list. The 20 year old put up back to back point seasons in his first full two years playing in the WHL with the Broncos. The thing holding him back is his smaller frame that he possesses. At six feet, 175 pounds, he can really move out there. His speed helped him put up 24 goals and 26 assists last season in 68 games.
One thing that helps Black’s case is that he is “Jack of all trades player”. He’ll help you on defense as well as make plays for you. But like the old saying goes “jack of all trades, master of none.” That’s something that Black needs to work on to take the next step. One thing he does well according to scouts, is his play away from the puck. He seems to always put himself in a good position, on both sides of the puck.
With the way he has developed, it’s tough to say where he goes from here. I don’t have a player to compare him to simply because I don’t know what to think with Black. When he was originally drafted not much was expected, but he is starting to prove people wrong.
#16- Seth Helgeson, D, University of Minnesota (NCAA)
A recent four year player for the Golden Gophers, the Minnesota native is your prototypical stay at home defenseman. Seth Helgeson won’t light up the score sheet, but he might prevent somebody else from doing so. The 6-5, 220 pound D-man posted five assists in 40 games during his senior year.
Make no bones about it, if Seth makes the NHL it won’t be for his offensive skills. He plays an obviously physical game as he showed in prospect camp this summer when he took on an un-signed 6-7 defensman in a fight. Helgeson played four games in Albany after his NCAA eligibility was up. He didn’t register a point, but was a +2. That is a good sign as most defenseman on Albany were in the negatives.
Looking ahead, you see that he has to size, but still needs some work on his positioning in his own zone. He should spend probably about two years in the AHL perfecting his craft before he gets a shot at the big club.
#15- Maxime Clermont,G, Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
Not much is expected out of Maxime Clermont, as most lists don’t even have him in the top 20. I struggled with putting him this
high. His two seasons in the ECHL have been less than flattering with a GAA of about 3.50. The thing that stands out to me the most his when he was called up to the AHL he played very well. In three career AHL games, Clermont gave up a total of five goals, going 2-1.
Being that it usually takes goalies to longer to develop I think there is much there. He has a big body and plays angles well. His rebound control is pretty solid. Just has to put it all together. Don’t be surprised to see his stock rise in the coming years. Would like to see him stick with one team as he has suited up for three different teams the past two seasons.
During his best I would compare him to James Reimer of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now he has to show and develop more before he can ascend to the heights Reimer has achieved, but It honestly wouldn’t shock me.
Stay tuned into Pucks and Pitchforks the next couple days for prospects 14-12.