5 New Jersey Devils Prospects Who Fell Below Expectations This Season

Nolan Foote #25 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nolan Foote #25 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Jaromir Pytlik #21 of the Czech Republic (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Jaromir Pytlik

This one might have fallen under the radar, but where is Jaromir Pytlik even playing this season? Don’t worry, we’ll Google it for you. He started the season in the Finish Elite League Liiga, he was sent to another team on a loan within the league, and now he’s playing in Czechia for Rytíři Kladno. He has five points in 30 games for his latest team, and nothing is really standing out for him this season.

The 2020 fourth-round pick came with a lot of upside when the Devils chose him. He was given a big role in his draft year for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, but he wasn’t as good as previous first-line centers like Morgan Frost and Barrett Hayton.

He came out of the draft considered a “complete” player due to his ability to impact different parts of the game. His development seems to have struggled now that he doesn’t have the structure that comes with playing in the OHL. His upside wasn’t terribly high, but he seemed to understand the game of hockey as well as any player in the draft.

This season has been a mess for him. This happens quite often with overseas players who come to North America to play junior hockey. Once junior hockey is over, what’s next? Some go to the AHL or NHL right away, and then it’s usually a pretty good trajectory to become a professional player. If they have to go back to Europe, it’s a much riskier proposition. We see that with Pytlik, who is now must figure out what’s next. Playing in the Czech league likely isn’t the best option to make the NHL. However, he has to go somewhere that’s willing to give him big minutes after a five-point season.