Alright, one more from the AHL. Graeme Clarke was a player that looked like his offensive abilities could translate to the NHL right away. He had great instincts in juniors, and when he was healthy, he was as good offensively as most first-round picks. The injury history was what helped him available into the third round. The Devils were able to take a chance on him because they had so many other prospects to build around.
At first, it looked like the Devils got themselves a gem. After returning from his injury in his last season with the Ottawa 67’s, Clarke had 17 points in 16 games. He was scoring at will and getting the puck to open players on an incredibly talented team. Last season with Binghamton, Clarke had 18 points in 31 games after spending part of the season in a professional league in Slovakia.
This season, with a full season under head coach Kevin Dineen, many expected Clarke to become one of the best players on the Comets. Unfortunately, he seems to be falling under those expectations. Alexander Holtz was always going to be the best scorer on the team. Many expected Foote and Clarke to be second and third. Instead, it’s Fabian Zetterlund and A.J. Greer.
Clarke is going to be in Utica again next season, and that’s okay. There really isn’t room for him in New Jersey anyway. The Devils need prospects who are playing lights out to make it on the NHL roster, and Clarke still has time to prove himself.