New Jersey Devils Prospect of the Week: Young Killer B’s

Dia Sparrow - Pucks and Pitchforks
Dia Sparrow - Pucks and Pitchforks /

A veteran player on the New Jersey Devils got injured? Well then it’s a good thing that your favorite team has some talented young kids waiting for a shot in the NHL. They may or may not contribute, but calling them up could pay off big and there is little to no risk of doing it.

As the New Jersey Devils made it four straight tonight in Winnipeg, it is time look and see what the kids have been up to as we name our Prospect of the Week.

It was a quiet and rather disappointing week for the Albany Devils, who went 0-1-2 in three games. The only prospect with noteworthy performances for the A-Devils this week was goaltender Scott Wedgewood, who stopped 57 of the 61 shots he faced. Though this happened in two overtime losses, Wedgewood was still impressive.

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At the junior and collegiate levels, it was also a quiet week for the New Jersey Devils prospects there. However, the prospects in the NHL did quite a bit of damage this week and are a big reason why the Devils are on their current three game winning streak.

This week, because of their performances and efforts, we have decided to co-award our New Jersey Devils Prospect of the Week honor to Reid Boucher and Joseph Blandisi. Now in the NHL, these two prospects came up big this week and have given fans excitement about the future.

After getting multiple cups of coffee over the past couple of years with the New Jersey Devils, Reid Boucher is looking to stay for good in his latest stint. So far in this stint, he has done well, scoring three points (2 G, 1A) in three games, including the eventual game-winner against the Arizona Coyotes.*

For Boucher, his scoring ability has never been a question mark. It has always been his average skating ability and poor defense that has held him back, in addition to a lack of confidence he was getting from the coaching staff. In this recent sample size, he has played with much confidence and appears ready to take the next step.

Whether Boucher will do enough to stay with the New Jersey Devils full time remains to be seen, but he has been impressive thus far. He just needs to continue to make the most of this current opportunity and keep learning from the coaches and veterans around him.

As for Joseph Blandisi, he could potentially have many Devils fans saying, “thank you Lou Lamoriello.” Blandisi was one of the final free agents signed during Lou’s tenure in New Jersey, and he could turn out to be a major steal.

Blandisi was sent back to Albany after the Devils got healthy and it appeared that his game needed refining. That time appeared to be well spent as Blandisi has looked like a completely different player since returning from the A-Devils.

Since being called back up, Blandisi was trying so hard to score his first NHL goal, hitting multiple posts and having one taken away off a teammate deflection. However, Thursday night against Ottawa, he finally got one through on a beautiful deflection on the powerplay.

In the six games since being called back up, Blandisi has scored five points and has looked much more comfortable on the ice both offensively and defensively. He has benefited greatly from playing alongside his line-mates, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri.

Because of their exceptional play this week, we could not award our New Jersey Devils Prospect of the Week honor to just one of them. Hopefully both Boucher and Blandisi will continue to improve their games and potentially help the Devils compete for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Next: Reece Scarlett

What do you of think of our latest choice for the New Jersey Devils Prospect of the Week? Did Boucher and Blandisi deserve this honor, or should it have gone to someone else? Who do you think will receive this honor next week? As always, please feel free to give your thoughts in the comments section below.

*Stats do not include Saturday’s win over Winnipeg.