New Jersey Devils Roster: Kyle Palmieri New Player Profile


Of the Devils’ additions this offseason, Kyle Palmieri looks to have the most promise. The Montvale, New Jersey native will look to cement a role in the top-six in the 2015-16 season. What should we expect from the former Anaheim Duck in 2016? Is he considered a bust after being selected 23rd overall in 2009? I will answer these questions and more in this post on the Devils’ draft day acquisition.

Palmieri grew up in New Jersey, but spent his youth cheering for the Rangers. He spent his high school years playing  with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP). His play was promising enough to merit a first round selection from Anaheim in the 2009 NHL Draft. Palmieri spent his age-19 season playing for Notre Dame where he experienced moderate success as a freshman but eventually opted to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility.

Unable to make the Ducks out of camp in summer 2010, Palmieri spent the majority of his season thriving in the AHL for the Syracuse Crunch. His 51 points (in 62 games) earned him fifth place among AHL rookies that year. After a season like Palmieri’s rookie year, one would expect for the former Fighting Irishman to be given an 82-game opportunity in the NHL.

Entering 2011-12, Anaheim general manager Bob Murray and coach Randy Carlyle sent Palmieri back to Syracuse but would go on to yo-yoing him between the AHL and NHL that year. As a 21-year old in the AHL, Palmieri finished in the top-5 in points per game with a mark of 1.14 (58 tallies in 51 appearances). He wasn’t given the proper time to settle in when with Anaheim but still mustered a 4-3-7 stat-line in 18 games.

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Once again, it seemed like Palmieri was destined for a long stint in the NHL in 2013, yet he started the first half of the year in the AHL. With Syracuse, he scored 25 points in 32 games before being called up to Anaheim, where he mustered 21 points in 42 games. He played inconsistently but upped his game for the playoffs to the tune of five points in seven appearances.

Finally, in 2013-14, the coaching staff opted to give Palmieri full-time in the NHL. Not only did Palmieri deserve it, but he was also in a similar situation to Stefan Matteau in that he would have to clear waivers to be sent back down.

In any case, Palmieri only saw about 12 minutes of ice time each game and still scored 31 points in 71 games. Most of his minutes were on the third line at 5-on-5. He finished with over two shots per game and had a better year in terms of advanced metrics.

2014-15 was Palmieri’s opportunity to shine, but his season started late due to injury. He rallied on a line with Matt Beleskey and Ryan Kesler where he finished with 29 points in 57 games. However, it is worth noting that Palmieri’s average ice time went up by two full minutes and he started seeing powerplay minutes, where he posted 11 of those points.

Those playoffs did not fare well for the New Jerseyan, who registered four points in 16 appearances. With so many talented wingers waiting in the wings (pun intended), Palmieri became the odd man out. It seemed that Anaheim found his potential and it was not much more than a middle-six forward. Thus, they traded him to New Jersey at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Kyle Palmieri is indubitably the Devils’ best right wing with no close second place. He scores first and does everything else later, much like Mike Cammalleri. His AHL numbers could spell future success for the winger, should he finally play a full season. His NHL pace is right around the 40-point pace, but in New Jersey he will likely see first line minutes against higher levels of competition.

In all likelihood, Palmieri will be the first line right wing and will be given a post on the first powerplay unit come October. He has a long way to go in his progression before he can be a first line winger but the signs have been promising. Giving Palmieri a natural playmaker like Patrik Elias or Travis Zajac could do wonders for his career, as he was fazed out last year by Matt Beleskey’s goal-poaching ability last year.

What do you think? Is Palmieri destined for great things in New Jersey or is he going to be another middle-six forward? Leave a comment with your expectations. Thanks for reading!

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