New Jersey Devils: 5 Biggest Questions Headed Into Offseason

Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers during Game One in the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 18, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers during Game One in the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 18, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz (10): Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Which Young Players Deserve A Spot On Roster?

With such limited cap space, the Devils will have to rely on young players next season. The question is which young players. Akira Schmid seems like he should get a shot at the net. Nemec is likely going to get a chance to win a spot on the right side of the defense. Alexander Holtz, Graeme Clark, and Nolan Foote will be fighting for NHL minutes in training camp.

There are also long-shot candidates, like Nico Daws in net, Reilly Walsh and Topias Vilen on defense, then Tyce Thompson, Arseni Gritsyuk, and Brian Halonen at forward. However, these are all training camp questions. Fitzgerald has to decide how many open positions he wants going into training camp. That will impact who he targets in free agency and trades.

This free-agent class is pretty weak. There are a lot of big names (Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ryan O’Reilly among them), but none are near their prime. Interesting younger players include Michael Bunting and Max Domi. Damon Severson is probably considered one of the better free agents.

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So, Fitzgerald must decide how many open spots he wants going into September. Does Holtz deserve his own spot? What about Nemec? This includes decisions on the qualifying offers for McLeod, Sharangovich, Bastian, and others. Answering these five questions is key to keeping this team a contender for years to come.