Sunday, August 26, 2007


Prospects, Super Series, and 2MA

As the offseason is coming to a close and pre-season starting in a few weeks, Devils-related news and analysis has dried up to say the least. There are a few things you may want to check out:

Jared Ramsden at Hockey's Future has compiled the top 20 prospects in the Devils' organization. Ramsden is quite high on Matthew Corrente and Tony Romano, two players who have great years last year in development. Personally, I think Barry Tallackson is rated too high. Despite a number of call ups to the Devils, he hasn't established himself as a future regular like David Clarkson did nor has he really set the world afire in Albany/Lowell. I really think his window of opportunity is getting narrow whereas others ranked below him - Mark Fraser, Clarkson, and Rod Pelley for example - have better shots at making the team. I understand the list is ranked considering the player's potential as the primary focus - but I don't understand what could cause one to consider that he has the upside of a second-line player. I admit I have only seen Tallackson when he was up with the Devils; so perhaps Ramsden or someone else has seen flashes of brilliance in the minors or in college that lead some to believe he has such potential.

That said, I largely agree with Ramsden's overall point that the Devils have plenty of depth and possibly good prospects; but they are short on players who are sure bets to be impact players. Given the recent emergence of Zach Parise and Travis Zajac, it's not a glaring weakness for now. Furthermore, it's not really a surprising issue given that the Devils normally draft late and that they aren't above signing players to fill in roles or give young players a shot (e.g. Zajac and Johnny Oduya from last season).

For all of you who are into junior/U-20 teams, this coming week should give you some action. It's the Canada-Russia Super Series and this time Russia is bringing a full squad. It's a 8 game series with 4 games played in Russia and 4 games played in Canada taking place from August 27 through September 8. In the bigger picture, it is not a meaningful competition like the World Junior Championships. But I expect both teams to take it seriously as it is definitely a good test for both teams to get ready for the aforementioned tournament.

Canada's roster can be found at TSN, complete with full news of the series from Canada's point of view. While the Devils do not have any prospects on the Canadian team, they have a coaching interest: Brent Sutter will be behind the bench for Canada. Eugene Belashchenko has an in depth preview of Russia's squad at Hockey's Future, complete with an explanation as to why Russia is bringing a talented team. Two Devils prospects have been named to the team: Kirill Tulupov and Alexander Vasyunov - but only Vasyunov will be the only one playing. Tulupov was dropped due to poor conditioning, according to an interview with Sergei Nemichinov - translated at the Russian Hockey Digest. This series will likely be only aired in Canada and Russia, but if you do have access to Canadian television, TSN has a broadcast schedule. If you want a more analytical coverage, Aaron Vickers at Future Considerations will blog the event. He thinks Canada is still the team to beat; but with a better-than-usual Russian squad, I think it'll be closer than he thinks.

Congratulations to 2 Man Advantage for their nominations at the Blogger's Choice Awards.

TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: I just found this very useful list of start date and venues for training camp for all 30 NHL teams at TSN. The New Jersey Devils' training camp will begin on September 13 at the Codey Arena at South Mountain in West Orange, New Jersey.

Labels: , ,

Thanks for the shout out, John!

Post a Comment

<< Home
Blog Directory - Blogged