What Devils Fans Should Keep their Eyes on this Pre-Season


The first couple of days from Devils’ camp have brought some interesting news to report on. No major news has been broken, but here are some minor story-lines that are worth keeping your eyes on.

More from Devils News

  1. Jon Merrill Injury

No official statement has been released on the matter, but the basic information is that Jon Merrill has sustained a head injury. The injury was sustained after a hit by Devils’ camp invite Ruslan Fedotenko during a 3v3 drill. New Jersey is hoping for it to not be a concussion, but until a statement is released, we will have to wait and hope for the best. Jon Merrill was penciled in to be paired with Andy Greene during practice, but now has been replaced by Damon Severson. Best bet Merrill will be out for the pre-season opener on Monday at Madison Square Garden, but hopefully is not much longer than that.

Ryane Clowe is Injury Free

Mar 20, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Ryane Clowe (29) checks Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser (39) during the first period at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

A big scare coming into camp was Ryane Clowe’s health. Clowe has been extremely injury prone in the recent past due to a plethora of concussions, but Clowe was given a clean bill of health days before camp opened. A healthy Clowe could be a dangerous offensive threat for the Devils when he is on the ice. Ryane Clowe has also vowed to not fight anymore, giving less of a chance for injury. Through the first few days of the pre-season, he has been set on a line with Adam Henrique and Michael Ryder, which at times was hot last season. Lets hope Clowe can keep himself out of injury through the course of the season.

  1. Zubrus in the top 6

When the line pairing was announced via twitter, It was extremely surprising to see Dainius  Zubrus matched with Patrik Elias and Martin Havlat. The Devils’ veteran spent a great deal of time last season on the top line with Zajac and Jagr. The combination had a great deal of success last December, but started Zubrus could not keep up as the season progressed. Eventually #8 was dropped from the top line, and barely produced during the rest of the season. Personally, Henrique would be ideal in this position, but if DeBoer wants him at center, than Clowe or Brunner should get the look. Before the season starts, let’s see if this line is still intact.

  1. The Mysterious Fourth Line

In all the line combinations mentioned, the normal fourth line of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, and Steve Bernier was not together. The first three lines look set, aside from Zubrus in my opinion, but the last line seems open. 3 line with contention for that spot are Carter-Gionta-Tootoo, Ruutu-Josefson-Bruner, and Boucher-Gomez-Bernier. Whether the 3 spots are filled by one of these trios, or is a combination of them, 3 of the above mentioned names will fill the bottom spots of the Devils’ opening night roster. With a little less than a month to figure out the most potent combination for New Jersey, it will be interesting to see what comes from this.

  1. A Forward must be moved

The last and maybe most major news that will be reached before the opening night, New Jersey must move at least one of their forwards before opening night. 14 forwards are under contract, and the Devils have expressed interest in bringing back Ryan Carter, so for that to be accomplished, a forward must be moved. Plus with all the invites New Jersey has given out, if they would like to sign one, the same issue would need to be corrected. A trade would be a pretty big deal, but this falls under minor news because we should not expect a blockbuster trade. Best bet one forward is traded to a team in exchange for a mid round draft pick.

October 9 is less than 20 days away, should be interesting time from now until then, but for now, these topics are worth keeping an eye on.

Comment below! What topics would you like to see reported on?