With the end of prospect development camp, the next team event to focus on is training camp which is dreadfully so far away in September. A benefit (or something to fill the time, as it were) for this long gap between actual action is that it allows us to speculate about what the 2009-10 roster will look like. There's already a few FanPosts discussing just that right here and here and here, to start. Feel free to contribute your own.
But today, I want to know who do you want as the 7th defenseman on the Devils. Don't laugh, it's not a meaningless spot on the team. In the past two seasons, the Devils utilized more than 6 defenseman on their active roster (infamously having 9 on the roster by the end of 2007-08). While Brent Sutter is no longer the coach, a spare defender is useful should the Devils want to exploit a matchup, spell a player, or have someone ready to go should someone be injured.
According to Rich Chere today, Jay Leach - a spare defenseman last season with New Jersey - was told that there will be competition for that #7 spot on the defenseman depth chart. Gulitti summed up the current situation with the Devils blueline in this post today after asking Lou about Cory Murphy. So this question is quite appropriate. A quick blurb about each of them:
Jay Leach - Served as an extra defenseman last season and did a decent job of it, so he has the benefit of experience. More of a defensive-defenseman than anything else.
Cory Murphy - His big asset is his offensive capabilities (a right-handed shot!), and he was featured on the power play in Tampa Bay. Size and health are issues. Also, he signed a two-way deal, so he could just go to Lowell if he's not playing?
Matthew Corrente - 2006 first round draft pick was in competition for a spot on the Devils with Anssi Salmela last season. Could he break through now with another season of pro hockey under his belt?
Tyler Eckford - Two-way defenseman put up 27 points in 72 games in his first season of pro hockey. The 2004 7th round pick has developed well so far, could he make a leap in September?
Andy Greene - Serviceable #6 defenseman but he was scratched more than a few times last season. He did sign a one-way contract per Gulitti, so he's not going to Lowell. Still, his spot may not be cemented in the lineup, so picking him here would mean you want someone else that #6 spot (make your suggestions in the comments).
Other - Maybe someone I missed will end up in that spare defenseman role? Maybe someone like Mark Fraser will defy the odds, have an amazing training camp, and make it? Leave you suggestions on who that could be in the comments.