New Jersey Devils: Re-evaluating Our Thoughts On Patrick Moynihan

Patrick Moynihan #9 of Providence College Friars (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Patrick Moynihan #9 of Providence College Friars (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

After easily making Team USA for the World Juniors, it’s time to rethink our evaluation of Patrick Moynihan.

Just over a month ago, Pucks and Pitchforks released their Top 25 prospect rankings. It shows where all the New Jersey Devils prospects land when looking at them as a whole. Some prospects went up, like Yegor Sharangovich who was originally ranked 24th. Others went down. Some who weren’t ranked at all likely need to be re-evaluated. The Devils prospect pool is deep, so there are some decent names that were left off the list entirely. One of those names was Patrick Moynihan.

To be fair, Moynihan is a hard prospect to evaluate unless you’re watching full games. He impacts the game in a way that doesn’t always hit the score sheet. Two years ago, he had 46 points with the US National Development Team Program. Last season, he put up 21 points in 34 games for Providence College. Those numbers are fine, but it’s hard to remove players with upside like Jaromir Pytlik or Daniil Misyul from the prospect list to add a guy with intangibles.

This is obviously a mistake. We spoke with current ESPN prospect expert Chris Peters on Wednesday’s edition of the Let’s Go Devils Podcast. He told us that it was not only clear that Moynihan would make Team USA at this year’s World Junior Championships (his current head coach is the head coach of Team USA after all), but that he will play an important role.

Peters went on to say that Moynihan is going to be relied upon differently than he is playing for Providence. During this seven-game tournament, Moynihan will be relied upon for matchups against some of the best U20 players in the world. It’s clear he has a great work ethic that will lead to opportunities at every level. He’s not the most skilled player on Team USA. That much is obvious. However, he has a lot of what coaches love and much of that translates to the next level.

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Speaking of next level, where does that put the projection of Moynihan overall? Obviously, he’s harder to project than say Alexander Holtz or Jesper Boqvist, both of which need point production to be successful in the pros. Moynihan needs to do more of the dirty work. There are a lot of players who can do that at the game’s mid-levels like the NCAA and World Juniors, but then struggle when it comes to the speed of the NHL.

Moynihan has been improving his game every year. This is what is truly important. He has a similar skillset as players like Blake Coleman and John Madden. Those are wonderful names if he makes it to that kind of production, but there are a lot of college players with a similar skill set that never make it. His development is extremely important to his future.

It’s clear that the Devils got an absolute steal when they drafted Moynihan in the 6th round last year. He was expected to go in the 3rd or 4th-round range. He fell to the Devils, and now they can watch as they reap the benefits.

He’s really good on his skates. He can move around the ice with ease, and there’s a fluidity to him. The best part of Moynihan’s game is the ability to play up and down the lineup. Do you want to pair him with Jack Hughes? He’s done that already. Is he better to play fourth-line minutes and stop opponents on the power play? He’s been there, too. Does the team need a goal in a desperate way? Moynihan can sneak in and score while defenders focus on players with “more skill”.

Moynihan still needs two to three years to really see what he’s going to be. Still, he deserves a lot more hype than he’s been given. That includes us at Pucks and Pitchforks. Despite the plethora of really good prospects in the Devils’ organization, Moynihan could still sneak through and be one of the few that become an NHL regular.