Jan 31, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson (5) shoots a puck during the warmups for their game against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Can Adam Larsson Finally Prove Himself?

The New Jersey Devils drafted Adam Larsson 4th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and received his biggest opportunity to prove his worth in 2011-12. Adam played in 65 games with New Jersey and had 2 goals with 16 assists but posted a -7 plus/minus rating. In the team’s deep playoff run, Larsson played in 5 games and had a goal.

All of a sudden, Larsson was pushed down the roster list as he only played in 37 games with New Jersey and registered 6 assists with a +4 rating. He spent some time in Albany as he played in 33 games and had much better success. He 4 goals and 15 assists with a -1 rating.

His New Jersey play time would decrease even more as he only played in 26 games and had 1 goal and 2 assists last season. He played 33 games with Albany and had 3 goals and 16 assists as he continued to find success in the AHL.

Adam Larsson’s Entry Level contract expired at the end of this season and the Devils were quick to lock up Adam. He signed a 1-year, $900,000 1-way contract. This new contract hopefully ensures that Adam will see more time in the NHL and finally prove himself.

While many may not be sold on Larsson just yet, most feel that he hasn’t been given enough chances yet. He played in a lot of games in his first season, but played less games in the next two seasons combined. Larsson is in a position where he could be fighting for a roster spot with Peter Harrold or Jon Merrill to start the season.

Larsson’s playing time should increase with the departures of Anton Volchenkov and Mark Fayne, but will still more than likely have to fight for playing time. Larsson brings even more youth to a defensive unit that is getting younger and younger with the seemingly permanent inclusions of Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill. There is also more youth behind him with Brandon Burlon who could very well find NHL time as well this season.

This could very well be Larsson’s last chance to prove himself because there could be more guys coming in behind him and, depending on how the NHL defenders play out this season, Larsson could find himself in a do-or-die spot this season.

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