Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks on the phone during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Rumor: Devils Pursuing Croatian Winger Borna Rendulic?

Let’s see what my agent gets done. I talked to the New Jersey Devils scout for about two years now, and he in turn has spoken to Devils GM. They would like me to get there, but it depends on a range of issues yet, says Rendulić. – Borna Rendulic in an article by Eetu Huisman of jatkoaika.com

Zagreb, the capital and largest city in the small European country, Croatia. It raised the countries finest prospect in the sport of hockey, which is not exactly a common choice of sport for athletes that reside there.

Borna Rendulic, 21, has shown some potential for becoming a star in the sport. He has come a long way to being able to play at the professional level. He made his professional debut in 2010-11 for Zagreb Medvescak of the Austrian League, only playing in 12 games recording a goal and assist. He now plays for HPK Hameenlinna of the Finnish Elite League.

The young winger started to impress both fans and scouts last season in which he tallied eight goals and four assists in 37 games with HPK. But this year he has improved to nine goals and 12 assists in the same number of games.

Rendulic supports a strong 6-foot-3, 194-pound frame with quick hands and a hard shot. Most commonly viewed as a sniper, but he knows how to use his size to his advantage and power his way to the net to create chances.

Here is a quick video showing off those hands and dangling skills:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkpjFwO9iX8

Now here is a video of his hard shot and release. (Skip to 27:15, for some reason it would only embed at 26:00, sorry!)

http://youtu.be/Ho8aYrh7Ed4?t=28m

Scouting reports also recommend that he should work on his skating and adding more grit, but there is a tremendous upside to his offensive game that intrigues scouts.

In that same jatkoaika.com article, Rendulic tells his goal of coming over to North America next season (his contract with HPK is up at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season), even if it is just in the AHL to start.

The main question here is should the Devils make a play for the young Croatian prospect?
Yes, what is there to lose?

Absolutely nothing. If he just refines his game the slightest bit, the Devils could have a future star on their roster that no one saw coming.

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks on the phone during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a huge goal for his entire life to play professional hockey in not only North America, but the NHL. He has publicly stated the Devils as being a team going after him, but will it happen?

At this point we just have to wait and see. No one knows what Lou Lamoriello has up his sleeve, but if it means to add a young scoring winger into an extremely shallow prospect pool, what is there to lose?

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Tags: Borna Rendulic Devils Finnish Elite League Liiga New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils Prospects NHL Prospects SM-Liiga

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