Travis Zajac, Brian Boyle and Michael McLeod have been designated injured, non-roster players.
With a number of young talent making a strong case for their inclusion one of the biggest decisions GM Ray Shero and his staff had to make was whether they would start the season with fourteen forwards or eight defensemen. Ultimately they went with the latter, deciding that Will Butcher and Steve Santini will both start the year with the big club. With the likelihood being that Butcher is being given the nine game tryout.
Jesper Bratt makes the team. The 2016 6th round pick impressed in preseason and has deservedly earned a spot on the team.
The surprising omissions come in the form of forwards Joseph Blandisi and John Quenneville not making the cut. Going to Binghamton with Nick Lappin and Brian Strait.
Here are your 2017-18 New Jersey Devils
Goaltenders - Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid.
Defensemen - Andy Greene, Damon Severson, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Dalton Prout, Mirco Mueller, Steve Santini, Will Butcher.
Forwards - Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Adam Henrque, Marcus Johansson, Kyle Palmieri, Pavel Zacha, Jesper Bratt, Stefan Noesen, Drew Stafford, Jimmy Hayes, Miles Wood, Blake Coleman, Brian Gibbons.
The inclusion of Coleman and Gibbons will throw a spanner in the works of most peoples (probably everybody’s) projected lineups. The bottom six was looking like it would be the most solid it has been for a few years in New Jersey.
Looking at the roster it’s quite easy to form the top nine. You’d have to think the top line will be Hall-Zacha-Palmieri, and the 2nd line featuring Johansson and Hischier with most likely Stafford on the right wing. The interesting part is what the management will do with Bratt, Noesen and Wood. None of them should be on the 4th line so one of them will really have to work to push Stafford out of the top six.
What do you make of the Devils roster? How much have your expectations changed with the inclusion of Blake Coleman and Brian Gibbons at the expense of Blandisi and Quenneville/Lappin?