Going into the season, the New Jersey Devils had a lot of quantity in the prospect pool. Now, some cream has risen to the top, but others have fallen off almost completely.
It’s been a pretty awful season for the New Jersey Devils. We don’t need to list all the terrible things that happened. You were all there. However, while the on-ice product looked really bad for some segments of our franchise, there were others that looked really good. Some trades have pushed the prospect pool higher up the league rankings, and others have stepped up to open our eyes (looking at you, Tyce Thompson).
However, on the other side of that, some other prospects took a major step in the wrong direction. Every year, we have prospects that fall off because of a number of factors. Sometimes their situation changed via trade or promotion/demotion and it didn’t mesh well. Other times, injuries just exposed issues we didn’t see before.
While a large majority of the Devils prospects had decent seasons, there are the select few that might have fallen off the list completely. They either really fell down the list of prospects, or they might not make the list at all. Some we had serious NHL aspirations for, and now we’d be surprised if they are even part of the pool at the start of next season.
It’s not goodbye to these players. They are prospects, so youth is mostly on their side. It could turn around for them again, but for now our expectations for these players are much lower than they were coming into this season. We will use the Pucks and Pitchforks preseason prospect ranking to show where we expected them to land going in to the season.