Here we are entering the middle of August with training camp still a few weeks away from commencing. This year's training camp will give us a look at the young players in the Devils professional system and those that they hold the rights to that are still in juniors and college. The Devils have added 11 new players under 25 in the system which makes this year's list all the more exciting. We will use a combination of rankings from the ILWT writers as well as a survey for the community to give their rankings. Join us for the 4th annual ILWT Top 25 Under 25 list.
Recap of 2014's List
The Top 25 Under 25 list started in 2012 and has featured community involvement since 2013. Last year, Adam Henrique finished #1 for the 3rd year in a row. Henrique no longer qualifies due to age which means we will have a new #1. Jon Merrill, Adam Larsson, Eric Gelinas, and Reid Boucher filled out the rest of the top 5. Last season's breakout player, Damon Severson was 6th on last year's list. Stefan Matteau, Jacob Josefson, Steve Santini, and John Quenneville comprised the rest of the top 10. Obviously players that have reached and had success at the NHL level were valued a bit more than prospects with promise. It will be interesting to see how the rankings change for this year's list as some of these players have more NHL experience, others are a year further along in their development, and there are quite a few new additions to the list that could see NHL action this season.
Here are the links to last year's posts on the Top 25 Under 25:
Top 5, 10-6, 15-11, 20-16, 25-21, and The Outsiders
|Pavel Zacha||C||2015 Draft (1/6)||Sarnia (OHL)|
|Mackenzie Blackwood||G||2015 Draft (2/42)||Barrie (OHL)|
|Blake Speers||RW||2015 Draft (3/67)||Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)|
|Colton White||D||2015 Draft (4/97)||Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)|
|Brett Seney||LW||2015 Draft (6/157)||Merrimack (NCAA)|
|Joseph Blandisi||C||Free Agent (1/15/15)||Albany (AHL)|
|Kyle Palmieri||RW||Trade (6/27/15)||New Jersey (NHL)|
|John Moore||D||Free Agent (7/1/15)||New Jersey (NHL)|
|Vojtech Mozik||D||Free Agent (6/15/15)||Albany (AHL)|
|Sergey Kalinin||C/RW||Free Agent (5/29/15)||New Jersey (NHL)|
|Max Novak||RW||Free Agent (3/20/15)||Albany (AHL)|
As you can see, the Devils have added quite a few prospects and young players over the past few months. You can find each draft prospect's post and John's recap of the draft archived here. Also, the Prospects - Devils and Otherwise tag has a bunch of prospect related post that could help you in deciding your rankings on some of the lesser known players. Please note that I put Sarnia down as Zacha's 2015-16 team but the possibility remains that he could play in New Jersey (if he signs in the next few days) or in the Czech Republic for Bili Tygri Liberec. It is nice to see the Devils add some young free agents and make a trade for a proven NHL player in Kyle Palmieri.
|Anthony Brodeur||Rights Relinquished|
|Curtis Gedig||Out of Org.|
|Maxime Clermont||Out of Org.|
|Myles Bell||Out of Org.|
|Player (ABC Order)||Position||DOB||9/15 Age||Contract/Notes|
|Alex Kerfoot||C||8/11/1994||21.11||Rights Owned|
|Artur Gavrus||RW||1/3/1994||21.71||Rights Owned|
|Blake Speers||RW||1/2/1997||18.71||Rights Owned|
|Brandon Baddock||LW||3/29/1995||20.48||Rights Owned|
|Brett Seney||LW||2/29/1996||19.56||Rights Owned|
|Colton White||D||5/3/1997||18.38||Rights Owned|
|Connor Chatham||RW||10/30/1995||19.89||Rights Owned|
|JD Dudek||C||1/29/1996||19.64||Rights Owned|
|John Quenneville||C||4/16/1996||19.43||Rights Owned|
|Josh Jacobs||D||2/15/1996||19.59||Rights Owned|
|Mackenzie Blackwood||G||12/9/1996||18.78||Rights Owned|
|Miles Wood||LW||9/13/1995||20.02||Rights Owned|
|Pavel Zacha||C||4/6/1997||18.45||Rights Owned|
|Ryan Rehill||D||11/7/1995||19.87||Rights Owned|
|Steve Santini||D||3/7/1995||20.54||Rights Owned|
As I mentioned earlier, this year's rankings will be a combination of the ILWT writers and the community. John has set up this survey where you can go and rank all 38 players. Please make sure to rank all 38 players to avoid any fringe prospects getting a high ranking over legitimate NHL players. The survey will last for roughly a week which should be ample time to get your rankings in. Casting your vote is as simple as clicking the drop down menu next to the player's name and choosing the ranking you feel they deserve. Once you have all 38 ranked, just hit the "done" button on the bottom. We'll start to post the results soon after that.
Voice your opinion on these players in the comments. Feel free to make a case for or against a player and debate with other Devils fans. Talk about your ranking strategy. Do you give players with more professional experience the edge or do you value potential higher? Are there players whose 2014-15 form will impact your rankings? Thank you for reading and have fun ranking these players. I'm really interested to see what the ILWT writers and community can come up with together this year.