Which New Jersey Devils Would You Consider “Untouchable?”

7 of 7

Jan 3, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson (5) celebrates a goal by center Scott Gomez (21) (not shown) during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Larsson

by Anthony Smith

Adam Larsson was the New Jersey Devils’ first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, the fourth overall selection. The 22-year-old Swede burst onto the scene and made an immediate impact for New Jersey during the 2011-12 season, tallying 18 points and averaging in excess of 20 minutes of ice time per game in 65 games during his rookie season.

But ever since, Larsson fell out of favor – for reasons unknown – with then-head coach Peter DeBoer, leaving the once highly-touted defenseman to threaten to bolt from New Jersey for his native Sweden during the last off-season.

Larsson ultimately stayed, but continued to feel DeBoer’s wrath, only appearing in 18 of the team’s first 36 games this season before DeBoer was fired.

DeBoer’s firing flipped a switch for Larsson, as the new coaching regime of Adam Oates and Stevens gave Larsson the opportunity he deserved as a former fourth-overall draft pick, and Larsson ran with it.

In 33 games since DeBoer was replaced, Larsson has tallied two goals and 14 assists, and has posted a +6 plus/minus rating, in addition to averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game. Larsson’s play has shown he can be a solid NHL defenseman, if not an elite defenseman. At the ripe age of 22, he is still developing and will continue to grow, giving the New Jersey Devils no reason to trade him.

Next: GM Meetings: Further Video Replay Can Help The Game