New Jersey Devils End Of Season Forward Grades

New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63): Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63): Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Janne Kuokkanen (59): Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports /

Janne Kuokkanen

GP:57 G:6 A:11 PTS:17

Pre-Season Prediction: GP:82 G:14 A:22 PTS: 36

Janne Kuokkanen had a great first full season in New Jersey, but he was moved away from Hughes and Sharangovich which really hurt his production. He used to be a great role player for that line and his puck retrieval and hitting added something this team needed but this season he didn’t do either. As of right now, it is hard to tell which one is the real Kuokkanen but he is a step behind moving into next year now and will have to prove something in training camp and the preseason. If he does look like the player from the first season though he would look good in the bottom six but if not he will play a few games here and there but that is it.

Rating: D

Micheal McLeod

GP:77 G:6 A:14 PTS:20

Pre-Season Prediction: GP:78 G:10 A:18 PTS: 28

Michael McLeod did exactly what a fourth-line center needed to do this year and while he won’t get attention for it around the league he should be looked at in a positive light. He was second on hits and led the team in faceoff percentage which are two things they struggle in.  He plays his role and plays it well so this guy is pretty much a no-brainer to keep around and with a full season next to Bastian and Wood being back his numbers will go up.

Rating: B+

Nathan Bastian

GP:60 G:11 A:5 PTS:16

Pre-Season Prediction: Added Mid-Season

It was no secret that I hated losing Bastian and then loved getting him back because much like his best friend he is the role player that this team needs. He led the team in hits and provides the size and edge this team just doesn’t have. Much like Mcleod expect his numbers to be up a bit next year with Wood in the lineup and those three will bring the energy every game.

Rating: B+

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Jimmy Vesey

GP:68 G:8 A:7 PTS:15

Pre-Season Prediction: GP:50 G:9 A:7 PTS: 16

Without Miles Wood, the Devils were missing a big part of their depth, and Jimmy Vesey while not quite the impact player did a decent job on the fourth line and even played up the lineup a little bit. He was decently physical and while it will be hard to make this team for him next year if he is a guy who plays some games due to injury it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

Rating: B

Fabian Zetterlund

GP:14 G:3 A:5 PTS:8

For an AHL guy who was a bit of a surprise call-up, Zetterlund was looking good at the end of the year. He had the drive that all of the other guys looking at a third-line spot next year didn’t have and it should put him in the conversation going into next year or at the very least putting him near the top of the call ups list.

Rating: B+