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Rank the Young Devils in the System for the 2016 AATJ Top 25 Under 25 List

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The Devils currently have 42 players in the organization under the age of 25. With training camp still a few weeks away, it is time for the annual AATJ Top 25 Under 25 list. Like last year, the readers will help the writers decide this list.

Finland v Canada - 2016 IIHF World Championship Ice Hockey: Gold Medal Game
Everyone’s favorite new Devil, Taylor Hall.
Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images

Here we are entering the month of August with training camps and the World Cup of Hockey 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. This year's list will feature a lot of turnover as Ray Shero has made his mark on the organization over the past year. This year's list will have 17 new Devils under 25 in the system with 13 players departing the rankings. We will use a combination of rankings from the AATJ writers as well as a survey for the community to give their rankings. Join us for the 5th annual AATJ Top 25 Under 25 list.

Recap of 2015’s List

The Top 25 Under 25 list started in 2012 and has featured community involvement since 2013. Last year saw Adam Larsson take home the top spot followed by Damon Severson, Kyle Palmieri, Jon Merrill, and Pavel Zacha to round out the top 5. The rest of the top 10 included Eric Gelinas, Jacob Josefson, John Moore, Reid Boucher, and Steve Santini. We will certainly have a different top 10 and list this year with Larsson and Gelinas gone, Palmieri, Josefson, and Moore aged out, and the additions of Taylor Hall and a new draft class.

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

New Additions

Name Position Acquired 2016-17 Team
Michael McLeod C 2016 Draft (1/12) Mississauga (OHL)
Nathan Bastian RW 2016 Draft (2/41) Mississauga (OHL)
Joey Anderson RW 2016 Draft (3/73) Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Brandon Gignac C 2016 Draft (3/80) Shawinigan (QMJHL)
Mikhail Maltsev LW 2016 Draft (4/102) SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
Evan Cormier G 2016 Draft (4/105) Saginaw (OHL)
Yegor Rykov D 2016 Draft (5/132) SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
Jesper Bratt LW 2016 Draft (6/162) AIK (Allsvenskan)
Jeremy Davies D 2016 Draft (7/192) Northeastern (NCAA)
Taylor Hall LW Trade (6/29/16) New Jersey (NHL)
Beau Bennett RW Trade (6/25/16) New Jersey (NHL)
Devante Smith-Pelly RW Trade (2/29/16) New Jersey (NHL)
Brandon Gormley D Free Agent (7/28/16) New Jersey (NHL)
Ken Appleby G Free Agent (10/5/15) Albany (AHL)
Nick Lappin RW Free Agent (3/8/16) Albany (AHL)
Kevin Rooney C Free Agent - AHL (7/5/16) Albany (AHL)
Jan Mandat LW Free Agent - AHL (7/5/16) Albany (AHL)

Ray Shero and his staff have clearly been busy over the past year adding young talent to the organization. This year's list will feature the 17 players above. Highlighted by the fantastic addition of Taylor Hall and supplemented with young NHL experience in Beau Bennett, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Brandon Gormley. Ken Appleby and Nick Lappin were undrafted free agents that have signed in the past year and have seen AHL action and they will be joined by ADevils signings Kevin Rooney and Jan Mandat. To cap it off, the most recent draft class of 9 prospects has brought new life into the rankings.

Departures

Name Reason
Adam Larsson Trade
Connor Chatham Rights Relinquished
Eric Gelinas Trade
Graham Black Trade
Jacob Josefson Age
John Moore Age
Kyle Palmieri Age
Max Novak Age
Raman Hrabarenka Unsigned
Ryan Rehill Rights Relinquished
Sergey Kalinin Age
Seth Helgeson Age
Stefan Matteau Trade

Players

# Player (ABC Order) Position DOB 9/15 Age Contract/Notes
1 Alex Kerfoot C 8/11/1994 22.11 Rights Owned
2 Artur Gavrus RW 1/3/1994 22.72 Rights Owned
3 Beau Bennett RW 11/27/1991 24.82 NHL
4 Ben Johnson LW 6/7/1994 22.29 ELC
5 Ben Thomson LW 1/16/1993 23.68 ELC
6 Blake Coleman C 11/28/1991 24.82 ELC
7 Blake Pietila LW 2/20/1993 23.58 ELC
8 Blake Speers RW 1/2/1997 19.72 Rights Owned
9 Brandon Baddock LW 3/29/1995 21.48 ELC
10 Brandon Gignac C 11/7/1997 18.87 Rights Owned
11 Brandon Gormley D 2/18/1992 24.59 NHL
12 Brett Seney LW 2/29/1996 20.56 Rights Owned
13 Colton White D 5/3/1997 19.38 Rights Owned
14 Damon Severson D 8/7/1994 22.12 ELC
15 Devante Smith-Pelly RW 6/14/1992 24.27 NHL
16 Evan Cormier G 11/6/1997 18.87 Rights Owned
17 Jan Mandat LW 11/18/1995 20.84 AHL
18 JD Dudek C 1/29/1996 20.64 Rights Owned
19 Jeremy Davies D 12/4/1996 19.79 Rights Owned
20 Jesper Bratt LW 7/30/1998 18.14 Rights Owned
21 Joey Anderson RW 6/19/1998 18.25 Rights Owned
22 John Quenneville C 4/16/1996 20.43 ELC
23 Jon Merrill D 2/3/1992 24.63 NHL
24 Joseph Blandisi C 7/18/1994 22.18 ELC
25 Josh Jacobs D 2/15/1996 20.60 ELC
26 Ken Appleby G 4/10/1995 21.45 ELC
27 Kevin Rooney C 5/21/1993 23.34 AHL
28 Mackenzie Blackwood G 12/9/1996 19.78 Rights Owned
29 Michael McLeod C 2/3/1998 18.63 Rights Owned
30 Mikhail Maltsev LW 3/12/1998 18.53 Rights Owned
31 Miles Wood LW 9/13/1995 21.02 ELC
32 Nathan Bastian RW 12/6/1997 18.79 Rights Owned
33 Nick Lappin RW 11/1/1992 23.89 ELC
34 Pavel Zacha C 4/6/1997 19.46 ELC
35 Reece Scarlett D 3/31/1993 23.48 NHL
36 Reid Boucher LW 9/8/1993 23.04 NHL (RFA)
37 Ryan Kujawinski C 3/30/1995 21.48 ELC
38 Scott Wedgewood G 8/14/1992 24.10 NHL
39 Steve Santini D 3/7/1995 21.54 ELC
40 Taylor Hall LW 11/14/1991 24.85 NHL
41 Vojtech Mozik D 12/26/1992 23.74 ELC
42 Yegor Rykov D 4/14/97 19.44 Rights Owned

The Survey

John has set up this survey where you can go and rank all 42 players. Please make sure to rank all 42 players to avoid any fringe prospects getting a high ranking over legitimate NHL players. The survey will last for roughly two weeks 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. You can also drag and drop players into the rankings that you see fit. Once you have all 42 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? Thank you for reading and have fun ranking these players. I'm really interested to see what the AATJ writers and community can come up with together this year.