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Devils Fall 2013 Prospect Ranking

Devils Fall 2013 Prospect Ranking

The Devils open up the 2013 season with some new prospects in the list,
as well as a a few familiar names gone from trades or graduation. No
longer a prospect for the team is Jake Gardiner, who had been on the
list for quite a few years. Besides Gardiner, Rasmus Bengtsson is also
no longer with the team after being the 87th pick in 2011. The team felt
that despite being such a high pick he did no deserve signing this
summer. However, added to the top 20 this year include some high ranking
guys and quite a few lower tier prospects as the team had a lot of picks
in the Entry Draft as well as trading the previously mentioned Gardiner
and also Tyler Bozak in a deal to San Jose. The top 10 from 2012 will be
in parenthesis for players who were included last season.

1.(1) Charlie Coyle RW

Coyle is still the teams best prospect in the views of management. He
has everything the team wants from a forward and with the potential of
developing into a center down the road, that makes him even more
valuable. For now though, Coyle is a big winger who can skate well, play
physical and use his size to hold onto the puck. He needs to work on
his offensive game but he still shows the potential to be a 50-60 point
player in his prime. The Devils are definitely pumped to have him in the
list to help restock the team now that guys like Backes are approaching
30.

2.(NR) Nick Bjugstad W

Bjugstad is the first of the two prospects that came over from San Jose.
This would probably be where Gardiner would have ranked as well, moving
up from #3 in 2012 (another traded prospect, Simon Despres, was #2 in
that list). Bjugstad comes to the team after years of trying however the
team is still trying to be realistic about what his upside is. While it
would be great if he could be could be a huge 6'6 230 pound 70 point
power forward the team knows his upside right now can't be projected as
that. He still needs to keep working on his skating to truly succeed at
the next level, as well as use his body a little more for such a big
guy. However, the team will be relatively happy if he can have a Viktor
Kozlov type career. While that wouldn't be the preferred outcome, having
a big guy who can put up 50 or so points every couple of seasons is
always valuable to have up front. The Devils right now would project him
to fill in at either 2nd line wing or 3rd line C down the road likely in
the 20+30 vicinity for 2nd line production.

3.(13) Michael Stone D

Likely too high in this list, Stone is one of the reasons the team felt
comfortable moving Despres a year ago and Gardiner this season. Despite
not having the enormous scoring upside that Gardiner does, Stone is a
safe bet who brings an all around game. While not possessing the
gamebreaking speed and shifty offensive abilities Gardiner does, Stone
has the standard big time slap shot from the point and can still make
good smart plays from his own zone. He plays a good defensive game as
well, and he also will hit hard and often. The team hopes his stock
keeps trending upwards and after getting 2 million dollars this summer
the team will slowly put him into the lineup over the course of the
season. To make room for him, someone will have to be traded or waived
but the team feels it could be worth it to bring Stone into the lineup.
He projects as a solid #3 defenseman capable of putting up 30 points and
eating up some important minutes.

4.(8) Matt Donovan D

Another personal favorite of team management, Matt Donovan has slowly
but impressively progressed every season since he was drafted. After
putting up 2 great campaigns offensively and only a handful of NHL games
the team also felt comfortable moving Gardiner with Donovan waiting on
the farm. Donovan is still relatively unknown but arrive on the scene
this year and put up some numbers. His upside is hard to say at this
point as he plays occasionally like a roving 4th forward, while also
gaining some defensive sensibility in the AHLlast season. However, that
still won't confuse anyone to the reason he would be in the lineup and
for the reason the team is excited. He could definitey be a 40 point
defenseman at the top level as well as being passable enough defensively
to handle #2 minutes. He very well could be the perfect replacement for
Wisniewski after he is gone from the team. Also probably too high on
this list, but he's been around forever (drafted 2008) and deserves it.

5.(NR) Boone Jenner LW/C

The second prospect acquired in trade from the Sharks, Jenner could be
argued higher up this list possibly up to number 2. While he wouldn' get
that high on his offensive game, his safety in getting pro ratings
within a few years would be the reason. While the team doesn't think he
has the ability Bjugstad does with the puck, they really aren't sure.
Despite being acquired mainly for Bozak, the team still isn't completely
sure about him as a player. What they do know, about his all around game
and physical play, sold the team on acquiring him. He lays out some
monster hits and could be on the same career path that Backes was on
when he was picked up by New Jersey. That isn't all that likely though,
as those players are very few and far between (Hanzal is likely the last
one to ever be drafted). The team hopes he can be the perfect 3rd line C
within a few seasons and figure his upside is something like a 15 goal,
35-40 point player. With Coyle, Bjugstad and Jenner potentially down the
middle the team hopes their peaks coincide as well as that they hit
their upsides as that would be a big trio to match up against.

6.(5) John Moore D

Yes he's still a prospect in NEFHL terms under 20 games played despite
just under 100 in the NHL. And with only 14 points in those 99 games
that might help show as to why he's still on this list. For that reason
alone he is too high but with the trade to NY in the NHL he might get a
new chance. He was showing that this spring when Torts was giving him
chances to show his hands with the puck but after getting fired who
knows what the future holds for Moore now. A new coach and one of the
deepest blue lines in the league could keep MOore from latching on but
the Devils still have some faith. With his kind of skating and offensive
abilities he should be able to find a home somewhere and the team still
is hoping for a 30 point defenseman out of him.

7.(NR) Ian McCoshen D

The newest drafted player on the list so far, McCoshen was selected by
the team with their 4th of four second rounders and is by far the best
pick. While the other three are all very much project forwards, McCoshen
already has pro size at 6'3 and just over 200 pounds. He was a first
team all star in the USHL and put up some great numbers on a stacked
team. He's off to BC next season and can hopefully step up immediately
like future teammate Mike Matheson did. Right now it's tough to project
what he can do at the pro level as he's yet to even play college,
however the team would be very happy to have him develop like Donovan
has over the next 2-4 years. Potentially could be a decent 2nd pairing
defenseman.

8.(10) Jared Knight RW

Next up on the list is Jared Knight who has kind of bounced around the
rankings seemingly day to day. After a really solid junior career where
he could put the puck in the net as well as dominate faceoffs he finally
began his pro career. Unfortunately it didn't go well at all, as
injuries plagued most of his season. The team still thinks he possesses
the abilities to play as a pro player however to what capacity remains
to be seen. He's at #8 on this list not because the team thinks he can
put up 20+ goals a season but because when it comes down to it he could
be a perfect bottom six guy. Someone who isn't very big but should be
able to put up 10-15 goals a year while playing a solid all around game
and throwing some hits. If this year he shows more ability with the puck
and with a few graduations he could end up in the top 5 next year.

9.(6) Joey Hishon C/W

Next up is the boom or complete bust potential guy, Joey Hishon. He
could easily be #2 on the list if it wasn't for being injured for almost
two complete seasons. After finally coming back late last season from a
concussion, he played a handful of games and got concussed again.
Supposedly this one wasn't as bad, however with concussions who knows.
Not only that but now he is also dealing with a groin strain which got
him cut from camp. If it wasn't for the injuries, Hishon could be
joining Coyle as just entering the pro team slotting up with the bottom
six but instead he finds himself still on the farm. If he can get over
his concussions completely, the team still feels like he could be a gem.
A forward capable of putting up points in bunches and with a lot of the
other big forwards on this list, as well as on the team, his size
wouldn't be a problem. The team thinks he has the upside to be a 60-70
point player but the likelihood of that is incredibly low and the team
isn't holding out until he proves productive and healthy for an entire
season.

10.(NA) Mike Reilly D

A fun defenseman more known more for his hands and offense than his
defense wraps up the teams top 10. While a few guys could be in this
spot (Robak, Caron, Brown) the team decided Reilly was the way to go.
Still a very raw product who is likely 3-5 years from seeing any game
action for the Devils, Reilly has a good freshmen season at Minnesota
where he put up 14 points in 37 games. A very upper classmen filled team
last year, Reilly got ice time where he could and put up respectable
numbers. With a lot of the forwards and a couple D graduating, the team
hopefully will look to Reilly to help mold the offense. Right now Reilly
projects as a purely points oriented defenseman at the NHL level and
will need the next few years to hone all aspects of his game. A good
player to have in the system with tantalizing upside but also a high
chance of missing on it.

11.(11) Colby Robak D
12.(9) Jordan Caron RW/LW
13.(NR) JT Brown RW
14.(NR) Cody Goloubef D
15.(17) Taylor Fedun D
16.(16) Blake Pietilla LW
17.(NR) Adam Tambellini F
18.(NR) Peter Cehlarik F
19.(20) Rob O'Gara D
20.(4) Luke Adam LW/C

Outside the top 20: Ryan Fitzgerald, Nick Paul, Greg Chase, Antoinie
Bibeau, Rylan Schwartz, Matt Lindblad, Stefan Warg

All in all, a decent group of prospects for a team that has finished
near the top of the standings the last 3 seasons. No gamebreaking top
line forward in the pipeline and likely no replacement for Edler. That
being said, a lot of useful pieces that could be used to keep the basis
of the team (Kane, Backes, Ryan, Edler) looking good.