It is the end of August which means training camp is just a few weeks away. Rookies and minor league players will report on September 15 while veterans will report for the main camp on September 18. The start of camp signals more than just the start of the New Jersey Devils journey for the 2014-15 season but the opportunity for young players to build off of their own success in the past or start with a clean slate. Training camp helps us get a glimpse of the future with so many young players participating between the rookie and main camps which means it is time for the the third In Lou We Trust Top 25 Under 25 list.
Recap of 2013's List
The Top 25 Under 25 list started in 2012 and 2013 was the first time that ILWT crowd-sourced the community for the rankings. Last year, Adam Henrique repeated as the top overall player under 25 in the Devils system as did Adam Larsson in the second spot. Filling out third to fifth was Andrei Loktionov, Jon Merrill, and Jacob Josefson. Comprising the rest of the top 10 was Reid Boucher at sixth, Alexander Urbom at seventh, Stefan Matteau at eighth, Eric Gelinas at ninth, and Damon Severson at tenth. Clearly players that have already reached and had success in the NHL were ranked higher than prospects. It's also notable that with players like Loktionov and Urbom gone and others such as Merrill, Boucher, and Gelinas playing in the NHL last year, the rankings could get a mini overhaul this year.
Here are the links to last year's posts on the Top 25 Under 25:
|John Quenneville||C||2014 Draft (1/30)||Brandon (WHL)|
|Joshua Jacobs||D||2014 Draft (2/41)||Michigan State (NCAA)|
|Connor Chatham||RW||2014 Draft (3/71)||Plymouth (OHL)|
|Ryan Rehill||D||2014 Draft (5/131)||Kamloops (WHL)|
|Joey Dudek||C||2014 Draft (6/152)||Dubuque (USHL)|
|Brandon Baddock||LW||2014 Draft (6/161)||Edmonton (WHL)|
This story stream has everything you need to know about these new additions, including individual analysis and John's thorough recap of the 2014 Draft class as a whole. You may also find my two part overview of the prospects in the Devils system as a helpful guideline to learn more about these players. Here is Part 1 focusing on the forwards and Part 2 focusing on the defensive players. Also the Prospects - Devils and Otherwise tag can help link you to more in-depth post on the prospects as a whole so be sure to browse through that. One thing to note with Dudek is that there is a lot of speculation he may end up bypassing the USHL this year to attend Boston College as they are desperate for forwards. It's far from certain but it is within the realm of possibility.
|Alexandre Carrier||Out of Org.|
|Andrei Loktionov||Out of Org.|
|Keith Kinkaid||Age||Albany (AHL)|
|Mike Hoeffel||Out of Org.|
|Artem Demkov||Out of Org.|
|Alexander Urbom||Out of Org.||Rights Retained|
|Mattias Tedenby||Out of Org.||Rights Retained|
|Harry Young||Out of Org.||UFA|
|Riley Boychuk||Out of Org.||UFA|
|Derek Rodwell||Out of Org.||Rights Relinquished|
|#||Player (ABC Order)||Position||DOB||9/15 Age||Contract/Notes|
|3||Alex Kerfoot||C||8/11/1994||20||Rights Owned|
|4||Anthony Brodeur||G||6/8/1995||19||Rights Owned|
|5||Artur Gavrus||RW||1/3/1994||20||Rights Owned|
|8||Blake Coleman||C||11/28/1991||22||Rights Owned|
|9||Blake Pietila||LW||2/20/1993||21||Rights Owned|
|10||Brandon Baddock||LW||3/29/1995||19||Rights Owned|
|12||Connor Chatham||RW||10/30/1995||18||Rights Owned|
|20||Joey Dudek||C||1/29/1996||18||Rights Owned|
|21||John Quenneville||C||4/16/1996||18||Rights Owned|
|23||Joshua Jacobs||D||2/15/1996||18||Rights Owned|
|25||Miles Wood||LW||9/13/1995||19||Rights Owned|
|26||Myles Bell||LW||8/19/1993||21||AHL – Uncomfirmed|
|30||Ryan Kujawinski||C||3/30/1995||19||Rights Owned|
|31||Ryan Rehill||D||11/7/1995||18||Rights Owned|
|35||Steve Santini||D||3/7/1995||19||Rights Owned|
Now for the important part. Here is a link to the survey! (Big thanks to John for setting this up!) Please vote and rank all 35 players. Remember that the players are all in alphabetical order so please do not leave any players unranked. I don't think any of us would want Anthony Brodeur or Artur Gavrus getting Top 5 votes by default. The survey will run for two weeks to give everyone ample time to analyze the players before making their one vote. Casting your vote is as simple as clicking the drop down menu next to the player's name and choosing the ranking you gave them. Once you have all 35 ranked, just hit the "done" button on the bottom. After the two weeks passes, we will start posting the results in a multiple part series so please stay tuned for that and offer your feedback.
Feel free to voice your opinion on these players below. Is there a player that you feel like deserves to be ranked higher or lower than what you expect the consensus would feel? Make your case and debate with fellow Devils fans. Is their a particular way you prefer to rank? Do you put more stock into a players potential ceiling or do you feel like what they are currently doing at the moment should carry more weight? Perhaps it's a mix of a number of things. Thank you for reading and have fun ranking these players and debating them in the comments below. I look forward to what we come up with as a community.