Training camp is a few weeks away but with August nearly here, it is time for the annual All About the Jersey Top 25 Devils Under 25 ranking. The Devils have been in a rebuild for quite some time now, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel as Ray Shero and his staff have done a great job at replenishing the professional roster and prospect pool with talent over these past few years. No doubt that the 2018-19 season was a disappointment for the Devils but winning the draft lottery to select the highly talented Jack Hughes was a big boost. The addition of a new draft class of 11 players along with likes of young players fighting for NHL spots such as Jesper Boqvist, Ty Smith, Michael McLeod, and Joey Anderson to name a few make this upcoming season intriguing. As usual, there is some turnover on this year’s list compared to last year’s. There are 7 players that are no longer eligible due to either age, trades, or free agency. There are 14 new players to add to this list, the 11 new draftees led by Jack Hughes, prospects Evan Cormier and Jeremy Groleau who signed contracts last season, and John Hayden who was acquired from Chicago for John Quenneville. 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 8th annual AATJ Top 25 Under 25 list.
Recap of 2018 List
The Top 25 Under 25 list started in 2012 and has featured community involvement since 2013. Last year saw Nico Hischier claim the top spot followed by Will Butcher, Damon Severson, Jesper Bratt, and Miles Wood to round out the top 5. Pavel Zacha was 6th followed by Ty Smith, Steve Santini, Michael McLeod, and Mirco Mueller to finish off the top 10. I would definitely expect to see some movement in this year’s top 10 now that Sanitni is gone, Jack Hughes is a Devil, and Jesper Boqvist is coming off of a successful season.
Here are the links to last year’s post on the Top 25 Under 25:
Top 5, 10-6, 15-11, 20-16, 25-21, and The Outsiders
Ray Shero has already had a busy offseason adding young talent to the organization by making 11 selections at the draft, including the number one overall pick in Jack Hughes. At the draft he added 6 forwards, 4 defensemen, and a goaltender with these picks spanning from junior hockey in North America to professional leagues in Europe. He recently traded for forward John Hayden who could contribute in a 4th line role for the Devils this season, brought goaltender Evan Cormier back a few months ago, and last fall signed defenseman Jeremy Groleau to an ELC after a strong showing at camp. These 14 players more than make up for the 7 no longer on this year’s list due to age (Damon Severson), trade (Jeremy Davies, Steve Santini, John Quenneville, Michael Kapla), or going unsigned (Jocktan Chainey, Cam Johnson).
John has set up this survey where you can go and rank all 47 players. Please make sure to rank all 47 players to avoid any fringe prospects getting a high ranking over legitimate NHL players. The survey will last for 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 47 ranked, just hit the “done” button on the bottom. We will start to post the results in a couple of weeks.
Give your opinion on these players in the comments below. Feel free to make a case for or against a player. What is your ranking strategy? How do you balance professional experience with raw potential? Thank you for reading and participating in the survey. Have fun ranking these players. I’m excited to see the list that the AAtJ community and writers come up with this year.