New Jersey Devils: Top 5 Prospects On Roster Bubble This Offseason

New Jersey Devils - Reilly Walsh (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils - Reilly Walsh (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Mitchell Hoelscher (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Mitchell Hoelscher (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

Mitchell Hoelscher

Mitchell Hoelscher is another prospect that the Devils lose his rights on June 1st, but his situation is a lot more up in the air. He’s a center that took another major step in his development with an Ottawa 67’s team that went off the charts in terms of production. The 20 year old was a 6th-round pick when the Devils took him in 2018, and if he decided to re-enter the NHL Draft, it’s almost certain someone would take him.

So, the Devils have to decide whether they want to find a spot for him in the AHL, or lose him for nothing. This, after he just saw his points jump from 40 to 76 despite playing less games. This is the type of jump you want from a player you take a chance on with the 172nd pick.

Hoelscher should be signed based on his talent and the fact that the Devils, again, can’t afford to lose any prospects with upside, but where can you put him? A player like that deserves a place up the middle, but the Devils might already have Michael McLeod, Mikhail Maltsev, Yegor Sharangovich and Ryan Schmelzer playing center in Binghamton. Even if McLeod makes the Devils next season, they have Marian Studenic waiting in the wings.

Hoelscher is someone we see the Devils signing, then figuring out later. They may pushing someone like Schmelzer, who has shorter upside than Hoelscher, down to the ECHL. Either way, there are a lot of reasons to push this player into the pros.