The InLouWeTrust Updated Top 20 New Jersey Devils Prospect List

BUFFALO NY - DECEMBER 30: Ryan Borque #17 Nick Bjugstad #27 Jon Merrill #12 and John Ramage #5 of the United States celebrate Merill's goal in the second period aginst Germany during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between United States and Germany at the HSBC Arena on December 30 2010 in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

It’s time for an update on the ILWT top prospects in the New Jersey Devils organization. After some thought, I am going to replace my past methodology with just simple rankings of who I believe are the top prospects based upon my view of the potential of each player, his position and that position's value to the Devils.  Note that I am still very conscious of the salary cap benefits the Devils receive if each player does reach that potential.   

Trade Note:  Eric Gelinas was traded yesterday.  Don't worry he was traded in the QMJHL to the Saint John Sea Dogs. Gelinas jumps from a team with 37 points to a team with 66 points.  

 "We are thrilled to have him," said Sea Dogs director of hockey operations Mike Kelly. "He is an elite defenseman that will provide a steadying influence on our blue line"

It is always good news to hear a prospect referred to as an elite player.  After the jump the updated prospect list awaits you. 

  

UPDATE:  Chris Peters of the blog site UnitesStatesofHockey.com has evaluated all of the USA defensemen's play in the WJC.  Below is a snippet on Jon Merrill.  I suggest you check out this link for more:

 

 

Due to the fact that the Devils have such a lack of defensive depth, I think Merrill could actually be in the NHL next season (not knowing what kind of salary cap situation is going on).

1. Jon Merrill-Between the Big Chill and the World Junior Championships he has garnered a lot of positive press. Hopefully he continues his fine play in the second half of the season for Michigan, as a CCHA rookie of the year award might be in his future. 

2. Mattias Tedenby,F-His scoring has cooled down a bit but he should settle in a top 6 role for next year and hopefully, years to come.  This is of course, predicated on him playing and not landing in Jacques Lemaire's doghouse. 


3. Jacob Josefson, C-Drops only because of Tedenby's play. Should return from injury soon, and it will be interesting to see how much rehab time he spends in Albany and if he returns to New Jersey this year.

4. Alexander Urbom, D-Quite the up-and-down year for Urbom, but his play has seemed to steady at Albany. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him back in Jersey with Lemaire/Robinson in the second half of the year to help him work on some problem areas.

5. Matt Corrente, D-He takes a dumb penalty sometimes, but Corrente has been bounced around a lot in the past year. From defenseman to left wing and from Albany to New Jersey it's time he be given a chance at an extended look as we forget that he is only 22.

6. Adam Henrique,C-Watching Albany games becomes tedious some times, especially via the quality of an internet stream. That said, watching Henrique progress this year has been a pleasant surprise.

7. Brandon Burlon, D-No slight on Burlon here, it's just that Henrique has been impressive. Burlon has played tough minutes for the Wolverines and does a little bit of everything. Definitely a bounceback year for him.

8. Eric Gelinas, D-Traded to the Saint John Sea Dogs it will be good to see Gelinas play with some better teammates, the QMJHL playoffs this year.   Will he be in Albany next year or return to Juniors for one more year?

9. Jeff Frazee, G-Hard to get a great read on him, but he needs to get some consistency. Some games he stands on his head, the next he lets up soft goals. I had hoped that the drafting of Wedgewood/Clermont would have lit a fire under him.  In his defense, he hasn't had a very stable experience at Albany this year with defenseman bouncing back and forth from Albany to New Jersey. 

10. Vladimir Zharkov, F-Finally he gets called up. Let's hope he doesn't get scratched again for Nick Palmieri and gets an extensive look.

11. Scott Wedgewood, G-This ranking is partly a reflection of my lack of confidence in the organization's forwards, but Wedgewood deserves praise for his play this year. He has seized the #1 goalie job at Plymouth and doesn't want to give it up.

12. David McIntyre, C-Producing points at a decent pace in Albany, he does a lot of the little things right. Plays often with non-scorers and I would be interested to see him center some vets like Matt Anderson or Chad Wiseman.

13. Mike Hoeffel-, F-Having a solid senior year for a Golden Gopher team that isn't as strong as some of their past teams. Should see him in an Albany uniform come springtime.

14. Matt Taormina, D-Still technically a rookie that I should have added to my first list. Hopefully he returns from his injury soon to give the team an offensive boost from the blueline.

15. Nick Palmieri, F-Getting a chance in NJ again, let's hope he rises to the challenge. Was recently playing on the 4th line in Albany.

16. Corbin McPherson, D-Hasn't produced at the college level like others in his draft class, but is slowly coming around. Has 4 goals in his junior year thus far after only 2 goals in his first two years.

17. Seth Helgeson, D-Playing as a shutdown defenseman in the WCHA is impressive, especially as a sophomore.

18. JS Berube, F-Recently promoted to Albany he will bring his tough, gritty style to the AHL after only 25 games in the ECHL.

19. Harry Young, D-Not the best skater in the system, but he is tough and watching him play you can see the intangibles that made him Captain of a Windsor Spitfire team that included Henrique and Taylor Hall.

20. Curtis Gedig, D-Ohio State freshman is 2nd in total points by rookie defensemen in the CCHA (behind Merrill).

Agree?  Disagree?  Sound off below and thanks for reading.

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