This past season, the likes of Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill moved into more permanent roles with the New Jersey Devils squad and will soon see their prospect status disappear.
Guys like Reid Boucher had semi-long stints with the big team and guys like Joe Whitney saw little to no action but could be NHL-ready next season. Gelinas and Merrill were two guys that were expected to make the final hurdle last season and join the team full-time.
Who will it be next season?
Stefan Matteau had a solid season with 13 goals and 13 assists in Albany but did not see any time in the NHL this season. He may be a little bit off from making the roster unless he dazzles in the prospect camp and preseason.
Reid Boucher is the likely winner of this poll. Reid had a great start right when he joined the team and capped off his great start with the team’s lone shootout goal for much of the season. Reid totaled 2 goals and 5 assists in 23 games. I think he should see a little more time in the NHL this season but he may not be ready for a full NHL season. He is still extremely young and has plenty of room in his waiver exemption to play it nice and slow for Reid.
Another prime candidate would be Joe Whitney. Whitney only played 1 game last season for New Jersey but tore it up in Albany. Whitney registered 22 goals and 31 assists in 73 games. Whitney’s one game in the NHL showed that he may not be NHL-ready yet but he is starting to outgrow the AHL. His only waiver exempt season was last season so the Devils have to be careful with what they do with Joe.
Guys like Tim Sestito (16 GP, 3 A) and Mike Sislo (14 GP, -1) always get spot starts and it doesn’t appear that they are ready for the NHL right now.
Scott Timmins is someone who surely put the Devils on notice. Scott was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers early last season and posted 13 goals and 26 assists in 61 games played.
Which Devils prospect do you think is due for a full-time NHL spot, much like Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill have certainly earned.