New Jersey Devils: Colton White Could Actually Be An NHL Option

Colton White #2 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Colton White #2 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils always tend to keep one surprise on the roster.

The New Jersey Devils opening night rosters have always come with at least one or two surprises. Last season, the Devils let Ty Smith go back to the WHL and kept Jesper Boqvist away from the SHL. In 2018, Jean-Sebastien Dea made the roster at the last minute after Ray Shero claimed him off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also, Eric Gryba was given the extra defenseman role. Brian Gibbons filled that role in 2017-18, but that one actually worked out perfectly as he was a scoring machine early in the season.

This season, there are a lot of options for surprises once the season starts. With nine months in between games, a possibly shortened season, and also possibly expanded rosters, the options for the Devils are endless. The AHL is not starting until February, so if the NHL starts in January, there will be nowhere for an entire team of prospects and tweener veterans to go. It seems very likely most of those players are allowed to at least play on another site and act as a Black Aces type squad.

Since this would likely take waivers out of the equation at least earlier in the season, it would give teams more options to move players up and down the lineup. That could give players a chance to impress, keeping them on the team all season. One player that absolutely has that potential is Colton White.

White was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NHL Draft, and he has been under the Devils umbrella since 2017. He’s been a stalworth on the Binghamton Devils for two seasons, and even got a look with the big club both years. He has nine NHL games under his belt, and he could be ready for more.

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Yet, he rarely ever gets any hype to be one of the Devils’ defensemen. There isn’t a lot of opportunities there for him, but since he plays the left side, it could give Lindy Ruff another option. Only Will Butcher and Ryan Murray are guaranteed a spot. Ty Smith will likely get the other left-side defensive spot, but it would have him playing on his off hand. He’s done it before, but the Devils likely want him as comfortable as possible.

Meanwhile, White is a natural left defenseman. He hasn’t shown much in his nine-game NHL stint, but there’s enough there to gain a sample size. The Devils could give White a legitimate look in training camp, let him get some games before the AHL roster is ready to go, then make a decision on him then. If all goes well, he could be a mainstay on the NHL roster. He’s 23 years old, so he doesn’t need AHL games to develop. It would probably be better for him long term to stay on the NHL roster and learn what it’s like to be with the team for a long time.