The Devils will put a lot of its future hopes on its deep prospect pool.
This offseason, the Devils have a lot of work to do if they want to be even remotely competitive. They sold the farm during the NHL Trade Deadline, and they are down to the bones of a good team. There’s no meat here, so the Devils need to make some moves to fill out the roster. However, the future is still the most important focus here.
The future includes the growth of a now deep prospect pool. The Devils had 11 picks in the 2017 NHL Draft and 11 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. Devils fans hope that makes up for a disastrous 2018 NHL Draft, one that only has two players still in the organization. Putting that many players into one prospect pool allows the Devils to be patient and let them grow at their own pace. Obviously, Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes are already regulars in the lineup, but besides two number-one overall picks, a lot of these players are still waiting for a real shot in the NHL.
These players still need to show growth along with their talent. There are players primed to make a jump this season, building off the fact they’ve added to their talent since their draft year. Some of the players are under direct Devils control (most likely in Binghamton), while others are in leagues around the world. Either way, if they make major strides next season, they could be wearing the “NJ” crest on their chest sooner than we expect.
With dozens of prospects literally scattered in leagues around the world, it’s hard to pinpoint five we expect to make major jumps, but we found some that have the best possible chance. These five players are farther enough from the NHL that their jump will see them make a leap on prospect rankings. Don’t expect to see someone like Ty Smith or Jesper Boqvist on the list despite us expecting them to make major leaps in the NHL. Now, let’s get right into our first player.