Peter Harrold has found himself in a situation where he could be squeezed out of the NHL roster with even more youth at defense on their way in. Harrold is finishing a 2-year, $1.6 million contract in 2014-15.
Peter Harrold has never found consistent ice time in the NHL. Between injuries and scratches, it is hard for him to see the ice. The most he has played in a single season in the NHL was 2008-09 with the Los Angeles Kings where he played in 69 games. He has played 84 (including playoffs) in a Devils uniform in three seasons combined.
In his Devils regular season career, he has a combined -10 rating and 11 points. Harrold’s defense tends to be a shaky as well and the Devils could easily look to replace him with the youth in Albany or even free agency. Peter Harrold’s best season since joining the Devils organization came when he played in 61 games with the Albany Devils in 2011-12 and tallied 26 points. Since then, he has played in 23 and 33 games in the next two seasons respectively with the NJ team.
Right now, Peter Harrold would (hopefully) remain the 7th defenseman behind Adam Larsson. Depending on what guys like Damon Severson, Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, and Reece Scarlett can bring to the table in Albany, there may be a guy knocking on the door for Harrold’s spot. If one of those guys show that they are ready for the NHL, 2015-16 could ultimately be their debut.
The hope for Severson and Burlon is that they can compete for a spot in 2015-16 at the latest while Scarlett and Hrabarenka may come a season later.
Either way, there is always the possibility of an Eric Gelinas/Jon Merrill-type of performance for one of these guys. That could lead to Harrold biting the bullet in 2015-16.
Here’s the thing: Bryce Salvador probably won’t be on the roster after this season. By next summer, Harrold will already be 32 and the Devils would rather tout their young guys than the veterans. At least that’s the plan on defense.
Maybe Severson and Burlon won’t have to compete. They could get promoted after proving themselves in limited NHL time this season. There’s also always the possibility of finding a defender in free agency as well. There are still guys left in the prospect pool to replace Harrold and there are likely guys out there in free agency too.
Will Peter Harrold earn a new contract for 2015-16? Comment and vote below!