Earlier today, the New Jersey Devils announced their roster of prospects for the 2017 Propsects Challenge in Buffalo starting at the end of this week. From the team’s official website, here is who is on the roster:
Goaltender (3): Ken Appleby, Mackenzie Blackwood, Evan Cormier,
Defensemen (10): Will Butcher, Jocktan Chainey, Yaroslav Dablenko, Nicolas Guay, Joshua Jacobs, Jacob MacDonald, Michael Kapla, Steven Santini, Colby Sissons, Colton White
Forwards (14): Brandon Baddock, Nathan Bastian, Jesper Bratt, Austin Cangelosi, Brandon Gignac, Nico Hischier, Ryan Kujawinski, Nikita Popugaev, Nick Lappin, Jan Mandat, Michael McLeod, John Quenneville, Blake Speers, Marian Studenic
The big names from this offseason are here: the 2017 first overall selection, Nico Hischier, and the 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner, Will Butcher. This set of three exhibition games will be the first time both young players will suit up in a Devils uniform and plays against another team. If nothing else, it’s a neat piece of trivia. Unless I’m mistaken, this will also be the debuts of Dablenko, Chainey, Popugaev, and Studenic.
This roster is largely junior and Binghamton (and New Jersey) based. The college prospects like Joey Anderson are not here as to not risk their eligibility. European-based prospects like Jesper Boqvist and Fabian Zetterlund are already with their teams across the pond, some of whom are already in action. Even so, there are plenty of professional and non-professional players who can participate. The only invitee I can identify is Guay, who will be playing for Drummondville of QMJHL in 2017-18.
The 2017 Prospects Challenge is a four-team round-robin affair taking place at the HarborCenter in Buffalo. These games are exhibition games. Opportunities for younger players to get some ice time and some attention before the veterans all report to training camp. I would not worry about anything regarding lines, usage, and maybe even performance. This is pre-preseason hockey. As long as no one gets hurt, it’s all good. Here are the games for this year’s challenge:
- Friday, September 8, Buffalo vs. New Jersey at 7 PM ET
- Saturday, September 9, New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh at 3:30 PM ET
- Monday, September 11, Boston vs. New Jersey at 12 PM ET
According to Sarah Baicker on Twitter, the Devils do plan on streaming all three games and providing highlights afterwards. If nothing else, it is a nice diversion before the preseason officially begins. We’ll have an open post for those who are interested and want to say something about them. Please share your thoughts on the roster in the comments. Thank you for reading.