New Jersey Devils Off-Season: CHL Prospects Update


Recently here on Pucks and Pitchforks we’ve talked about players the New Jersey Devils might draft from the 6th spot in next months draft. We’ve looked at potential trades, including the possibility of moving down in the draft.

We begin our CHL prospects update starting with the New Jersey Devils 2014 1st round draft pick, center John Quenneville. The 19-year-old from Edmonton has been money for the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2014-15 season. John started the year hot with 34 points in 40 games by the end of January but had to miss some time due to injuries. He finished the regular season with a very respectable 47 points from 57 games. The playoffs have been where John has stepped up in a big way. His 19 points in 15 games lead the Wheat Kings and have helped fire them to the WHL Championship series. They won each series 4-1 and will now take on the Kelowna Rockets. Game one is on Friday May 8th.

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Joseph Blandisi became a New Jersey Devils prospect when he signed as a free agent back in January. Blandisi led the Barrie Colts to the OHL Central Division title finishing the year as 4th in scoring. He notched an impressive 112 points through 68 games. Another season scoring like that and perhaps time in Albany may be on the table for the 20-year-old from Vaughan, ON. if it isn’t already.

Next up is the man whose North Bay Battalion eliminated Blandisi’s Colts from the OHL playoffs, Ryan Kujanwinski. Ryan was traded mid-season from the Kingston Frontenacs to North Bay. Kujawinski played a big part in sweeping his former team in the 1st round before defeating the Colts in five. Runners-up in the OHL Central Division, the Battalion will take on Connor McDavid’s Erie Otters in the OHL Championship. The series starts Friday May 8th. Kujawinski scored 23 points in 27 games for Kingston and then 36 in 34 for North Bay. That form has dipped a little in the playoffs to 9 in 15 but the decent sized contribution is still there.

Staying in the OHL we look at Connor Chatham. Connor was taken in the 3rd round (71st overall) by the New Jersey Devils in last year’s draft. He played for the Plymouth Whalers who failed to make the playoffs finishing 4th in the West Division. Connor was one of Plymouth’s silver linings in a disappointing season with a steady 37 points in 48 games.

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Heading back west to the WHL for Brandon Baddock. Another 2014 draft pick, Brandon was an alternate captain this season for the defending WHL and Memorial Cup champions Edmonton Oil Kings. In his 3rd full season with Edmonton he enjoyed his best points total with 40 in 71 games. However, he only managed one point in five playoff games as the Oil Kings were eliminated by John Quenneville and the Brandon Wheat Kings. Last month the 6’4″ forward signed a tryout with the Albany Devils.

The third and final alliterate name to be mentioned Ryan Rehill of the Kamloops Blazers. A 5th round 2014 draft pick, Rehill lost the “A” from his jersey that he wore in 2013-14. He matched his career high points total of 20 in four lesser games (68). Kamloops missed out on a playoff spot by just four points.

Anthony Brodeur was drafted in 2013 in New Jersey by his father and New Jersey Devils legendary goalie Martin Brodeur. Anthony was playing for Shattuck St. Mary’s Midget Prep when he was drafted and then moved to Quebec to backstop for the Gatineau Olympiques. Unfortunately, Anthony’s GAA has steadily gotten worse through his young career, a strong 2.18 through 27 games in his rookie 2010-11 season in Shattuck. Last season it dropped to 3.72 in 16 games before Gatineau traded him to Drummondville. While there it didn’t improve finishing the season with a 3.88 GAA in 16 games, a total GAA of 3.78 in 32 games. Sadly not living up to the weight of the name made by his father.

With the kind of scoring we’re seeing from Blandisi, Kujawinski and Quenneville I’m a little more optimistic on the future of the New Jersey Devils forward depth. There’s the potential of having two New Jersey Devils prospects competing in the Memorial Cup this year. However, in all likelihood Ryan Kujawinski and North Bay won’t make it past Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome and Erie. Therefore we will most likely have to rely John Quenneville in the CHL Playoffs to represent the New Jersey Devils.

Next: Dan Bylsma: New Jersey Devils Head Coach Candidate