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NFT: Good morning Devil Fans

Sec 103 : 2/19/2021 7:17 am
How about them Devs, smacked the Bruins around like they stole something last nite. Really like what this young team is doing. Here's hoping they don't run out of gas when they have to play significant games back to back to back.... But in the meantime, NJoy!!!!!
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Through two periods  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 4:28 pm : link
The Devils are playing well once again. It’s night and day from yesterday’s game. Palmieri has put his early season struggles behind him as he picked up another point.

Aaron Dell has played well so far.
Unbelievable  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 4:41 pm : link
This is embarrassing how bad they are when it comes to the PK.
RE: Unbelievable  
Stu11 : 2/21/2021 5:28 pm : link
In comment 15158263 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
This is embarrassing how bad they are when it comes to the PK.

Absolutely horrific. It gets worse every day. Frankly the last 30 minutes of the game the Devs were a complete no show
RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 7:26 pm : link
In comment 15158281 Stu11 said:
Quote:
In comment 15158263 Jay on the Island said:


Quote:


This is embarrassing how bad they are when it comes to the PK.


Absolutely horrific. It gets worse every day. Frankly the last 30 minutes of the game the Devs were a complete no show

3 more power play goals allowed today. I have never seen anything like this before.
RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Stu11 : 2/21/2021 8:26 pm : link
In comment 15158316 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 15158281 Stu11 said:


Quote:


In comment 15158263 Jay on the Island said:


Quote:


This is embarrassing how bad they are when it comes to the PK.


Absolutely horrific. It gets worse every day. Frankly the last 30 minutes of the game the Devs were a complete no show


3 more power play goals allowed today. I have never seen anything like this before.

Bryce Slavador tweeted a lot about this tonight. Says he's gonna break down the video a lot in the pre-game tuesday. His basic point was the PK is about chemistry and 7 of the top 10 penalty killers from last year are no longer on the team. I really think they are missing Coleman, Greene and Lovejoy in this department. Nico and Zajac gettin their legs goping forward will help I hope.
RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 8:51 pm : link
In comment 15158350 Stu11 said:
Quote:


Bryce Slavador tweeted a lot about this tonight. Says he's gonna break down the video a lot in the pre-game tuesday. His basic point was the PK is about chemistry and 7 of the top 10 penalty killers from last year are no longer on the team. I really think they are missing Coleman, Greene and Lovejoy in this department. Nico and Zajac gettin their legs goping forward will help I hope.

Coleman is probably the biggest loss in that department. You're right once Zajac and Hischier are 100% then that should help but I think they need to make some other changes. Less time for Severson and give Kulikov and Vatanen more time. Also Zacha has been a very good PK for most of his career and he too should receive more time there.

Now to a positive, Zacha continues to impress me out there. He seems way more confident this season. Sometimes I forget that he is only 23 years old.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Stu11 : 2/21/2021 9:58 pm : link
In comment 15158356 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 15158350 Stu11 said:


Quote:




Bryce Slavador tweeted a lot about this tonight. Says he's gonna break down the video a lot in the pre-game tuesday. His basic point was the PK is about chemistry and 7 of the top 10 penalty killers from last year are no longer on the team. I really think they are missing Coleman, Greene and Lovejoy in this department. Nico and Zajac gettin their legs goping forward will help I hope.


Coleman is probably the biggest loss in that department. You're right once Zajac and Hischier are 100% then that should help but I think they need to make some other changes. Less time for Severson and give Kulikov and Vatanen more time. Also Zacha has been a very good PK for most of his career and he too should receive more time there.

Now to a positive, Zacha continues to impress me out there. He seems way more confident this season. Sometimes I forget that he is only 23 years old.

Another positive is Palms seems to have found his game. I love the Hughes-Johnsson-Palms line. Johnsson has the speed and skill to hang with Jack and Palms adds some size in there with his scoring.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 10:11 pm : link
In comment 15158406 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Another positive is Palms seems to have found his game. I love the Hughes-Johnsson-Palms line. Johnsson has the speed and skill to hang with Jack and Palms adds some size in there with his scoring.

I think we all knew it was a matter of time before Palmieri turned it around. I was more concerned about Gusev, and I still am. It’s funny because earlier in the season the analytics showed that Hughes and Palms were awful when paired together which surprised me because I thought that they would compliment each other very well.

I really like Johnsson with Hughes also. I would like to see a line of Zacha Hughes and Johnsson. I can’t wait until Alexander Holtz, Dawson Mercer, and Nolan Foote.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Stu11 : 2/21/2021 10:20 pm : link
In comment 15158410 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 15158406 Stu11 said:


Quote:


Another positive is Palms seems to have found his game. I love the Hughes-Johnsson-Palms line. Johnsson has the speed and skill to hang with Jack and Palms adds some size in there with his scoring.


I think we all knew it was a matter of time before Palmieri turned it around. I was more concerned about Gusev, and I still am. It’s funny because earlier in the season the analytics showed that Hughes and Palms were awful when paired together which surprised me because I thought that they would compliment each other very well.

I really like Johnsson with Hughes also. I would like to see a line of Zacha Hughes and Johnsson. I can’t wait until Alexander Holtz, Dawson Mercer, and Nolan Foote.

Yea Foote with his size will be a big plus. I may be off but Mercer strikes me as the next Zajac, with maybe a bit more scoring which I'd be perfectly fine with.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Jay on the Island : 2/21/2021 11:34 pm : link
In comment 15158412 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Yea Foote with his size will be a big plus. I may be off but Mercer strikes me as the next Zajac, with maybe a bit more scoring which I'd be perfectly fine with.

If people are expecting Mercer to be a perennial 30 goal scorer then they will be disappointed. That is not an insult to Mercer but he is just not that type of player as he is a Jack to all trades type. That’s not to say that Mercer won’t be a top 6 forward. IMO Mercer is a better fit at RW and he will be a great compliment to whomever he plays with. If he lives up to his potential Mercer will be a fan favorite similar to Blake Coleman.

Of all the draft picks from this draft class Mercer will be the first in the NHL and I think that could be next season.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Unbelievable  
Stu11 : 2/21/2021 11:42 pm : link
In comment 15158425 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 15158412 Stu11 said:


Quote:


Yea Foote with his size will be a big plus. I may be off but Mercer strikes me as the next Zajac, with maybe a bit more scoring which I'd be perfectly fine with.


If people are expecting Mercer to be a perennial 30 goal scorer then they will be disappointed. That is not an insult to Mercer but he is just not that type of player as he is a Jack to all trades type. That’s not to say that Mercer won’t be a top 6 forward. IMO Mercer is a better fit at RW and he will be a great compliment to whomever he plays with. If he lives up to his potential Mercer will be a fan favorite similar to Blake Coleman.

Of all the draft picks from this draft class Mercer will be the first in the NHL and I think that could be next season.

Yeah thats definitely the vibe I get about Mercer. The kind of guy that can do all the little things that help you win hockey games without being a 30 goal type guy. That's fine, between Hughes, Nico and hopefully Holtz not to mention Bratt and anyone else they acquire hopefully scoring won't be an issue.
I think Mercer  
Jay on the Island : 2/22/2021 10:02 am : link
Will score at a decent rate if he develops as hoped. I expect 15-18 goals with perhaps a coupons of seasons in the mid 20 range. Mercer should be a consistent 40-50 point player who provides value on the PK, PP, and in the locker room.
Adam Henrique just cleared waivers  
Jay on the Island : 2/22/2021 12:04 pm : link
It’s no surprise due to his contract. He has three years left after this with an annual cap hit of $5.825 million. If he was a pending UFA the Ducks probably could have shipped him to a team like the Isles assuming they are some of his cap hit.
Another power play goal allowed  
Jay on the Island : 2/23/2021 8:27 pm : link
.
Wow this thing turned into a mess in a hurry  
Stu11 : 2/24/2021 1:47 pm : link
The PK is in historic territory for awful at this point and suddenly we can finish a scoring chance and are surrendering opportunities at an alarming rate. Oh well we knew there would be growing pains. Hopefully we can stop the bleeding fast. Bratt needs to start creating some goals and besides 2 meaningless tallies Gusev has been useless. I think once Nico gets his skating legs back it will be a big boost.
Yea  
Jay on the Island : 2/24/2021 5:36 pm : link
It sucks that the Devils have just been thoroughly beaten by the struggling Sabres once again. Hischier is rusty but once he rounds into form the offense should improve but this team weaknesses have been exposed.

It's still going to be a fun season watching the kids develop. Also Damon Severson has improved noticeably this season where he is now a legit top pairing defenseman. He has significantly reduced the mistakes that he's made in the past.

Hopefully Gusev heats up so that they can get something for him at the deadline.
Agreed Jay on Severson  
Stu11 : 2/24/2021 6:06 pm : link
Crazy thing is despite the chance we've given up the past 3 games, I cant think of a Dman who's playing poorly. Even Subban has been pretty good. I think it's more the fwds not supporting as well. I agree unlike the last 2 years I feel the future is really bright. The strides Jack and Ty Smith have made are really exciting. I'd live to see Ruff let Smith go full bore 9n the attack. Sometimes he enters the zone well but you can see a little tentativeness to go all out. With his skating ability and skills he really gas a high ceiling offensively.
RE: Agreed Jay on Severson  
Jay on the Island : 2/24/2021 10:54 pm : link
In comment 15160861 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Crazy thing is despite the chance we've given up the past 3 games, I cant think of a Dman who's playing poorly. Even Subban has been pretty good. I think it's more the fwds not supporting as well. I agree unlike the last 2 years I feel the future is really bright. The strides Jack and Ty Smith have made are really exciting. I'd live to see Ruff let Smith go full bore 9n the attack. Sometimes he enters the zone well but you can see a little tentativeness to go all out. With his skating ability and skills he really gas a high ceiling offensively.

The defense has been a pleasant surprise with the obvious exemption of Tennyson who is now gone. Having Will Butcher as your 7th defenseman is a great development. Unfortunately Subban has struggled at times but he is better than last season.

I wasn’t expecting Severson to improve from last season. I thought he hit his peak as an offensive 2nd pairing defenseman who makes the occasional rookie mistake. He’s playing like a complete 1st pairing defenseman and has been paired with Ty Smith at times. That’s a preview of the future. Ty Smith is living up to his expectations. It’s hard to not get excitedly about his future. I hope that they can re-sign Kulikov to a 2-3 year deal for about 2.5 million per.

Now let’s hope that one or two of Bahl, Walsh, Okhotiuk, Vukojevic can battle for a role in NJ next year.

So far the highlights of the season have been Blackwood, Hughes, Severson, Zacha, Smith, and Bratt. Kulikov, McLeod, Wood, And Kuokkanen have exceeded expectations as well.
Yeah I think the one disappointment on offense besides Gusev  
Stu11 : 2/25/2021 1:20 pm : link
Is Sharengovich. Was hoping his scoring touch from the KHL would carry over but it hasn't. I think the Devils have to talent up front to score more. I just think it's about finding the right combos to click, and I think Ruff is working his way through that. The 4th line has been established with Wood-McLeod-Bastain. Now he has to figure out the top 3 lines. With his skating ability and skill it's hard for me to believe that Sharengovich won't be at least a 20 goal 3rd line type.
RE: Yeah I think the one disappointment on offense besides Gusev  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 1:59 pm : link
In comment 15161469 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Is Sharengovich. Was hoping his scoring touch from the KHL would carry over but it hasn't. I think the Devils have to talent up front to score more. I just think it's about finding the right combos to click, and I think Ruff is working his way through that. The 4th line has been established with Wood-McLeod-Bastain. Now he has to figure out the top 3 lines. With his skating ability and skill it's hard for me to believe that Sharengovich won't be at least a 20 goal 3rd line type.

Prior to this year I didn't think Sharangovich would be more than an AHL player who might earn a brief call up or two in the NHL but nothing more than that. His performance in the KHL caught many people off guard. I agree with you that I think he has a future as a bottom six player and it wouldn't surprise me if he has a 20 goal season or two in that role.

The Devils were overdue for a late round find as they haven't had much luck there besides Bratt. A couple of other prospects that I like that could be players down the road are Arseni Gritsyuk and Nikola Pasic.

I'm curious to see what the Devils do with Tyce Thompson and Aarne Talvitie this offseason. Thompson is ready to turn pro IMO as is Talvitie. Talvitie could use more development time in the AHL but I am confident that Thompson can compete for a bottom six role next season. I will admit that I wasn't thrilled with the Devils using a 4th round pick on an overaged center in the draft but Thompson fhas proven to be a great pick so far. He could be great 3rd line player with the chance for more.

Hopefully the Devils can land some more picks at the deadline if they fall out of the playoff picture. They have some intriguing trade options in Nikita Gusev, Sami Vatanen, Dmitry Kulikov, Miles Wood, Ryan Murray, Will Butcher, and Travis Zajac. Palmieri is a candidate too but I think and hope that they work out an extension. I could see Lou try to acquire Zajac if the Devils retain some of his cap hit. It would be great if the Devils could trade some of these guys and then re-sign Kulikov and possibly Murray in the offseason.
RE: RE: Yeah I think the one disappointment on offense besides Gusev  
Stu11 : 2/25/2021 2:32 pm : link
In comment 15161505 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 15161469 Stu11 said:


Quote:


Is Sharengovich. Was hoping his scoring touch from the KHL would carry over but it hasn't. I think the Devils have to talent up front to score more. I just think it's about finding the right combos to click, and I think Ruff is working his way through that. The 4th line has been established with Wood-McLeod-Bastain. Now he has to figure out the top 3 lines. With his skating ability and skill it's hard for me to believe that Sharengovich won't be at least a 20 goal 3rd line type.


Prior to this year I didn't think Sharangovich would be more than an AHL player who might earn a brief call up or two in the NHL but nothing more than that. His performance in the KHL caught many people off guard. I agree with you that I think he has a future as a bottom six player and it wouldn't surprise me if he has a 20 goal season or two in that role.

The Devils were overdue for a late round find as they haven't had much luck there besides Bratt. A couple of other prospects that I like that could be players down the road are Arseni Gritsyuk and Nikola Pasic.

I'm curious to see what the Devils do with Tyce Thompson and Aarne Talvitie this offseason. Thompson is ready to turn pro IMO as is Talvitie. Talvitie could use more development time in the AHL but I am confident that Thompson can compete for a bottom six role next season. I will admit that I wasn't thrilled with the Devils using a 4th round pick on an overaged center in the draft but Thompson fhas proven to be a great pick so far. He could be great 3rd line player with the chance for more.

Hopefully the Devils can land some more picks at the deadline if they fall out of the playoff picture. They have some intriguing trade options in Nikita Gusev, Sami Vatanen, Dmitry Kulikov, Miles Wood, Ryan Murray, Will Butcher, and Travis Zajac. Palmieri is a candidate too but I think and hope that they work out an extension. I could see Lou try to acquire Zajac if the Devils retain some of his cap hit. It would be great if the Devils could trade some of these guys and then re-sign Kulikov and possibly Murray in the offseason.

Yep you're definately better versed on the deeper prospect pool than I am. That was another real downside to Crawford retiring. I felt if he was playing well and we were in seller mode at the deadline we could have gotten a #1 pick for him to a contender who was strapped in goal. With their prospect pool the way it is, I think if they load up on draft picks again this year I'd like to see them use multiple picks and a prospect or 2 to make a run at a star.
RE: RE: RE: Yeah I think the one disappointment on offense besides Gusev  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 3:50 pm : link
In comment 15161546 Stu11 said:
Quote:

Yep you're definately better versed on the deeper prospect pool than I am. That was another real downside to Crawford retiring. I felt if he was playing well and we were in seller mode at the deadline we could have gotten a #1 pick for him to a contender who was strapped in goal. With their prospect pool the way it is, I think if they load up on draft picks again this year I'd like to see them use multiple picks and a prospect or 2 to make a run at a star.

You seem very informed when it comes to the Devils prospects as well.

Crawford's decision to retire was a huge disappointment especially the timing of it. The Devils backup goalie performance was atrocious last season. Crawford was very good last season and I expected him to continue to play at that level in his new role. Aa you mentioned he likely would have been very attractive to several teams at the deadline. At least the Devils lucked out and landed Aaron Dell who isn't close to Crawford's level but he is still a capable backup and a big upgrade over Schneider, Wedgewood, or Domingue.

I'm looking forward to watching the Bratt, Hischier, and Zacha line tonight. Johnsson has improved noticeably since the Devils returned to action. Johnsson has nice chemistry with Hughes.
....  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 7:28 pm : link
The Bratt, Hischier, Zacha line is flying out there.
What a shot by Zacha!  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 9:43 pm : link
Ok I’m a believer, Zacha is finally breaking out. This is one incredible young center group Hischier, Hughes, Zacha, and McLeod with Mercer, Thompson, Boqvist, and Talvitie on the way.
Well they persevered and got the big W in OT  
Stu11 : 2/25/2021 9:47 pm : link
Great shot by Zacha. Nice to see Bratt and Nico get their 1st. You called it Jay. That line was flying all night. The PK was its usual atrocity. How many wide open tap in are we going to give up?
RE: Well they persevered and got the big W in OT  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 9:56 pm : link
In comment 15161977 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Great shot by Zacha. Nice to see Bratt and Nico get their 1st. You called it Jay. That line was flying all night. The PK was its usual atrocity. How many wide open tap in are we going to give up?

The exciting play by Zacha briefly overshadowed by continued PK struggles. I just don’t know how they are this bad on the penalty kill. I really don’t have any answers.

For now I just want to focus on the positives. IMO there is nothing better in hockey than a successful young team built with home grown talent. With that said I hope that the Devils continue to make minor FA moves and use their cap space to extend their own players. Hischier is already locked up but Pavel Zacha, Jack Hughes, Ty Smith, and Jesper Bratt should all receive long term deals in the next couple of years. The Devils should consider extending Zacha for 5-7 more years if he keeps this up. The longer they wait the more Zacha will command.
Wow Zacha has an 8 game point streak  
Stu11 : 2/25/2021 10:10 pm : link
Didn't realize that (3g 7a). Yeah I agree it's so exciting when you have all this home grown talent, with so much more on the way. It's how you build not just a winner, but a team like the Caps that stays up there for a decade or more. I also have to admit wasn't overly excited when they hired Ruff, but I've really been impressed with him so far. I like his demeanor, and patience with the kids. Though until tonight the pucks weren't going in for the past 3 but I live the creativity and gameplan on offense.
RE: Wow Zacha has an 8 game point streak  
Jay on the Island : 2/25/2021 10:45 pm : link
In comment 15161999 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Didn't realize that (3g 7a). Yeah I agree it's so exciting when you have all this home grown talent, with so much more on the way. It's how you build not just a winner, but a team like the Caps that stays up there for a decade or more. I also have to admit wasn't overly excited when they hired Ruff, but I've really been impressed with him so far. I like his demeanor, and patience with the kids. Though until tonight the pucks weren't going in for the past 3 but I live the creativity and gameplan on offense.

I wasn’t thrilled with the Ruff hire, I really wanted Gallant, but he’s done a solid job thus far especially with how he kept the team focused with such a large number of players moving in and out of the lineup due to COVID. The players are a natural fit for his system.
Crazy to think Zacha is only 23  
Stu11 : 2/26/2021 12:46 pm : link
We expect so much so fast. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer with players. In the meantime he has developed a nice 2 way game including being one of the best PK fwds on the team. If this scoring touch becomes more permanent we have a hockey player.
It’s a little different because Elias was better earlier  
Jay on the Island : 2/26/2021 7:11 pm : link
But Zacha is starting to remind me of Elias a bit. Elias’ first three seasons were solid but he was more of a 2nd or 3rd line caliber player until his fourth season where he exploded with the same amount of goals as the previous two seasons combined.

Now I am not suggesting that Zacha will become the offensive player that Elias was but their career trajectory is somewhat similar. The Devils would have been better off having Zacha play another year in the OHL instead of playing in the NHL which may be a reason why Ty Smith didn’t make the Devils last year.

Zacha’s disappointing performance offensively overshadowed his excellent play as a penalty killer and defensively. If he can continue to play this well offensively then Zacha will become a complete player useful in every situation. It seems like Zacha has been in the league for a long time mainly because seasons seem longer when your team is losing with limited bright spots.

Who knows maybe one day we won’t care that the Devils took Zacha over Barzal.

This is the most talented center group that the Devils have ever had and the best part is their age. Zacha is the oldest at just 23.
Murray out injured today, Butcher back in  
Stu11 : 2/27/2021 12:47 pm : link
Nice touch in warm-ups- the whole team are wearing Zajac Jersies. Big weekend. Washington is good, but they're not invincible, especially in net.
Oh well in a 2-0 hole early  
Stu11 : 2/27/2021 1:31 pm : link
Caps getting some lucky bounces but those are the breaks. We gotta up our game the rest of the way.
I would have yanked Blackwood at 3-0  
Stu11 : 2/27/2021 2:14 pm : link
Seeing as its probably a lost cause and you could come back with him tomorrow.
They're still fighting  
Jay on the Island : 2/27/2021 3:02 pm : link
Now down 3-2 after Zacha extends his point streak to 9 games with his 6th goal of the season.
Buzzing like crazy the first 6 minutes of the 3rd  
Stu11 : 2/27/2021 3:14 pm : link
Just can't put that tieing one in.
Not a great performance today for the Devils  
Jay on the Island : 2/27/2021 4:38 pm : link
This is what we should expect this season. Some games they will look like a playoff team while others a lottery team.
RE: Not a great performance today for the Devils  
Stu11 : 2/28/2021 9:42 am : link
In comment 15163067 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
This is what we should expect this season. Some games they will look like a playoff team while others a lottery team.

Yep totally agree. We knew playing only division games vs the likes of Washington, Boston, Philly etc...every night that we'd have some rough ones. We played well after the 1st period but dug ourselves too deep of a hole.
Binghamton is struggling  
Jay on the Island : 2/28/2021 2:06 pm : link
They've lost 6 straight games. I don't understand why they still keep Evan Cormier. He's just not a very good goaltender and he has no future in the NHL. I wish that they would just move on from him. It's too bad that they lost Comrie on waivers as he would have been a nice option to split time with Senn.
I saw this on a Devils forum  
Jay on the Island : 3/1/2021 2:39 pm : link
The number of games it took both players to reach their current point total compared to last season.

Pavel Zacha – 14 points after 32 games.
Jack Hughes – 12 points after 26 games.

Zacha reached it in 15 fewer games and Hughes in 11.
I'm very bored at work  
Jay on the Island : 3/1/2021 4:37 pm : link
So I decided to waste time by reviewing the Devils cap situation for next offseason. Obviously we have no idea what the salary cap limit will be and I will refrain from making any predictions. For the sake of this post let's just assume it remains the same as this year.

According to Capfriendly the Devils will have approximately $38.5 million in cap room. The following are UFA's:
Kyle Palmieri
Nikita Gusev
Travis Zajac
Ryan Murray
Sami Vatanen
Dmitry Kulikov
Aaron Dell
Connor Carrick
Matt Tennyson

Here is the list of restricted FA's:
Michael McLeod
Yegor Sharangovich
Nathan Bastian
Janne Kuokkanen
Nick Merkley

Now obviously some of that cap room will go towards re-signing some of the players but the Devils should still be among the top teams in terms of available cap space. Also I hope the Devils are able to trade a few players out of Gusev, Miles Wood, Zajac, Vatanen, Kulikov, Murray at the deadline.

I would prefer to see the Devils try to extend Palmieri before the deadline and if they are too far apart then I would consider trading him as well because they would get at least a 1st round pick for him. If Palmieri is moved hopefully it's to a team that probably can't afford to re-sign him in the offseason.

The players I would look to re-sign are
Kyle Palmieri 3 years $18 million
Dmitry Kulikov 2 years $4 million
Sami Vatanen 1 year $2 million
RFA Michael McLeod 3 years $4.5 million

Michael McLeod has improved significantly from a year ago even if it's not really showing up on the stat sheet. We could see him take a big leap forward offensively next season. Don't expect a Zacha type of improvement but McLeod could eventually be a 40+ point player who provides more defensively.

Subban's deal expires after the 2021-22 season which is when Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Pavel Zacha become restricted free agents. This is why it's great to have all that cap room. The Devils will have plenty of room to extend all three.

Bratt and Zacha will be coming off their bridge deals while Jack Hughes will likely sign a long term deal similar to Hischier. I hope that they give Hughes a max 8 year deal. If Zacha keeps playing this well then I would like to see him sign for 5-7 years as well. Bratt should receive a 4-5 year deal when his current one expires.

I think that's a pretty good rundown Jay  
Stu11 : 3/1/2021 5:41 pm : link
I agree I think they should stay more on the path of signing and extending their own guys rather than looking outside the organization. Sure they should always be on the lookout for another Johnsson type deal for teams looking to shed a salary. More and More big UFA deals are depreciating value. I think the future is solid. Sure if a deal for a top player presents itself we can look at dealing some assets but I'm fine for staying the course. We've caught no breaks with Washington. It seems like Ovy and Backstrom will be top scorers forever. Pittsburgh may finally be on the downside with Malkin looking like hes in decline and the hole they have in net.
The Devils are an ascending team  
Jay on the Island : 3/1/2021 10:14 pm : link
Of course they can't compete now with teams like Washington but in a couple of years that could change as Ovy and Backstrom age.

The Devils have a nice core on the roster already but they are still very green. If Holtz develops into the player that many expect then he will be a dangerous goal scorer and a perfect compliment to Hischier, Hughes, and Zacha. IMO Mercer has a very high floor and is likely to become a very valuable piece that can contribute in all areas. Hopefully Nolan Foote continues to improve his skating because he could be an asset next to Hughes or Hischier.

The Devils finally have some great shooters in the system but I would like to see them add another in the draft and of course another defenseman. Obviously the Devils won't be in position to land Owen Power unless the Devils are hit hard with injuries. Several defensemen are projected to go in the top 10. Luke Hughes or Graeme Clarke's brother Brandt would be great but they too will likely be off the board unless the Devils land a top 5 pick. There are still some great options in the 5-12 range too.

RW Dylan Guenther would look great on the first or second line if the Devils decide to go forward again. Guenther is an elite scorer and is very fast which makes him a natural fit for the Devils system.

LW William Eklund is Alexander Holtz's teammate and they have also been line mates most of the season. He would make a lot of sense for the Devils as well. He's close to being ready for the NHL and he could come over the following year along with Holtz. The Devils have drafted teammates quite often lately (Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian), (Mitchell Hoelser, Nikita Okhotiuk, Graeme Clarke), (Jack Hughes, Case McCarthy, and Patrick Moynihan).

You're right  
Jay on the Island : 3/1/2021 10:28 pm : link
the Devils should continue to take advantage of teams desperate for cap space. If the cap does go down like many expect the Devils could benefit greatly. A few teams will be desperate to create cap room and the Devils could land a solid asset or two.

Seattle will clean up in the expansion draft. They will likely land numerous high draft picks to select some bad contracts.
I think Foote is important for the future because of his size  
Stu11 : 3/1/2021 11:05 pm : link
The team is on the smaller side up front and we spend a lot of time sliding on the ice. From what I saw at the WJC Mercer can help in this area too eventhough he's only 6' he brings a presence.
RE: I think Foote is important for the future because of his size  
Jay on the Island : 3/1/2021 11:45 pm : link
In comment 15164522 Stu11 said:
Quote:
The team is on the smaller side up front and we spend a lot of time sliding on the ice. From what I saw at the WJC Mercer can help in this area too eventhough he's only 6' he brings a presence.

Great point, I was very happy that they landed Foote in the Coleman trade because he is huge and physical. At the time of the trade I thought that he would be great protection for Hughes while being the finisher that the team desperately needed.

I hope that Foote is ready for the NHL next year. Graeme Clarke reportedly is far away and needs another year in juniors. He hasn’t played much for Binghamton which is disappointing. This doesn’t mean that he’s a bust he’s just further away than I anticipated.
Dawson Mercer continues to impress  
Jay on the Island : 3/2/2021 4:43 pm : link
This past weekend in 2 GP Mercer had 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games.

Here is a video of one of his goals.
Link - ( New Window )
RE: Dawson Mercer continues to impress  
Stu11 : 3/2/2021 7:51 pm : link
In comment 15165165 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
This past weekend in 2 GP Mercer had 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games.

Here is a video of one of his goals. Link - ( New Window )

That's great. Looking real forward to seeing him in Jersey soon.
Sorry  
Jay on the Island : 3/2/2021 8:06 pm : link
Here’s the correct link
Link - ( New Window )
Man we've hit the skids. This is brutal  
Stu11 : 3/2/2021 10:30 pm : link
Oh well it's a process. Believe in the kids.
RE: Man we've hit the skids. This is brutal  
Jay on the Island : 3/2/2021 10:42 pm : link
In comment 15165458 Stu11 said:
Quote:
Oh well it's a process. Believe in the kids.

Yea but they played well for much of the game. The Devils were exposed for who they are when they match up against two very good teams in Washington and the Isles.

This is what we were expecting going into the season but the positives far outweigh the negatives. If the Devils continue to slide then it at least allows them the opportunity to play the young kids more and work through the struggles. They could also begin to sell some assets that aren’t part of the long term. In the long run landing another high 1st round pick will set them up nicely for the future.

Once the NCAA season ends the Devils should sign Tyce Thompson and Aarne Talvitie to ELC’s.
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