Sunday, March 16, 2008
New Devils Prospect Rankings at HF
In any case, I'd like to make a fairly uninformed prediction who from this list you will see in New Jersey in the future. If you have any thoughts or opinions about these guys, please let me know. I'm willing to entertain all angles.
Get the Jerseys Ready (Eventually):
- Petr Vrana - He's leading Lowell in scoring and his versatility likens him to Sergei Brylin. Given that Brylin's effectiveness is dropping from month to month, I'd expect Vrana to step in to replace him within the next few seasons, if not next season.
- Nicklas Bergfors - Not a lot of production in Lowell; but he did make the team out of training camp and injuries has slowed him down. Still, he's got top 6 forward potential and talent; he'll probably get a longer look next season.
- Rod Pelley - Uh, wait, he's already played 63 games with New Jersey. And he already has a jersey.
- Mark Fraser - I know, with 9 d-men on the roster, why another defenseman? He looked fairly good in a call-up last season and he's a big, physical player. If Salvador doesn't re-sign or if the Devils clear out some of the quasi-regulars (e.g. Sheldon Brookbank), Fraser could step in. If not next season than the year after.
- Nick Palmieri - The Devils are looking to bring him right to Lowell. He did well at camp back in September. But the last prospect the Devils had that was primarily a goal scorer was Pierre Dagenais, so I wouldn't anoint him to be the next goal scoring machine. Regardless, the Devils organization likes him and that's a big positive.
- Matt Corrente - Lou rates character and discipline highly and those are the only real questions one could have about Corrente (e.g. getting suspended in juniors). Other than that, Corrente is solid.
- Kirill Tulupov - I love what I'm reading about Tulupov...except that he needs work on his defensive coverage. If that means he just needs experience and someone to guide him, great. If that means he has a lot of trouble with decision making, it could make the difference between physical NHL defenseman and physical AHL defenseman.
- Alexander Vasyunov - I hear about his talent, but he doesn't get a lot of minutes in Russia. If he can use that same talent while getting significant time in Lowell, then we'll see him at the Rock.
- Matt Hoeffel - Still recovering from injury, the word is that his game is similar to Jay Pandolfo's. That's nice and all; but he's still a project.
- Matt Halischuk - Great skater, great job at the WJCs for Canada, and he appears to have some solid penalty killing attributes. Too bad the Devils have more of their share of checking forwards, otherwise he'd be more of a sure thing.
- Tyler Eckford - He's doing extremely well for Alaska-Fairbanks and it looks like his conversion to defense was successful. I just wonder how high the ceiling is for Eckford? I think he'll be seeing some significant time in Lowell.
- T.J. Miller and Mark Fayne - Two defensemen, Miller is in college and Fayne is in juniors. One is developing into an all-around defenseman, the other is developing into a physical defender. Why are they both long shots? Because the Devils have a ton of depth here; they both need to explode to get some serious consideration.
- Vladamir Zharkov - For someone who can skate real well and have good offensive skills; he got passed over again for the WJCs and like Vasyunov, he doesn't get a lot of time in Russia. At least Alexander was named to the roster.
- Jeff Frazee - Wow. From USA starter at the WJCs to now becoming the backup at Minnesota. Harsh. Guess the Devils will continue to search for that goalie of the future that they won't need until 2011 or so.
- Tony Romano - Talk about poor seasons. I know injuries were a factor; but he needs to have an excellent season in 2008-09 to continue being considered as a potential player.
- Nathan Perkovich - Another big forward prospect. He's done very well at Lake Superior State; but he's still a project more than anything else.