Did New Jersey Devils Actually Get Something In A.J. Greer?

A.J. Greer during the 2015 NHL Draft. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
A.J. Greer during the 2015 NHL Draft. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils traded for a 1st-round pick when they sent Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders. The main piece was that 1st-round pick. There were some players involved in the deal, but everyone made them out to be throw-ins not even worth mentioning (us included).

The two players were A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst. Jobst is a 27-year-old undersized forward who’s had trouble cracking the Binghamton Devils lineup. He played on the team’s fourth line on Friday night, and that’s probably where he best fits now and in the future. Jobst is never going to see the NHL.

However, Greer may be a different story. Honestly, it wasn’t expected that he would do much of anything for this team, but he’s looked pretty good for the Devils since coming over. The Devils have been playing him on the top line, and he’s been actually contributing. He even scored a game-tying goal for the team on Friday night.

That’s actually a phenomenal play. Greer gets the puck right before entering the zone, finds a little space, and shoots the puck in the one spot that’s open. This is the type of play coaches look at when making a decision on who to call up to the NHL. Decision-making goes a long way.

Next. 5 Prospects Who Could Make A Jump This Offseason. dark

Greer had two points in 10 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He’s had five points in five games with the Binghamton Devils. He’s been very good since coming over, and clearly this trade looks really good on him.

He is a former 2nd-round pick who had some upside. The Colorado Avalanche took him with the 39th-overall pick back in 2015. He’s already 22 years old, so most analysts would say he’s close to what he is at this point. However, we’ve seen late bloomers before.

Greer’s scouting report before the NHL Draft showed a big, power forward who could beat players to pucks and could grind opposing players to a halt. Future Considerations said he had a very impressive upside with a lot of raw talent. Sometimes, when a player is a raw talent without being a completed product, they need to find the right coaching staff to really make them the best player they can be.

At the end of the day, Greer was an extra piece for the Devils that Lou Lamoriello didn’t mind losing. He didn’t draft him, and he wasn’t contributing at the AHL level. It’s quite possible he needed a change of scenery. He’s been traded twice already, and sometimes that wakes a player up.

This kid has some upside still. He provides something not a lot of Devils prospects do. His size puts him as one of the biggest Devils prospects, especially at forward. If he can keep scoring on a consistent basis, the Devils might find a place for him on the NHL roster by the end of the season. Then, he’ll get an actual shot to prove himself with some extra work over the summer.

He’s never going to be a superstar, but the Devils have seen players turn into contributors later than some expect. Greer is still young, and he could have a lot of career left in him. For now, we appreciate the production at the AHL level. Even if he ends up being a top-six player in the AHL for the foreseeable future that can be a call up every so often, that’s more than anyone expected when the trade was made.