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Time to Vote for the 2022 All About the Jersey Top 25 New Jersey Devils Under 25 List

It’s time for the eleventh annual All About the Jersey Top 25 Under 25 list. This year’s list features 49 players under the age of 25 in the organization. Keep reading to see who is available and how to vote in your rankings to contribute to the final list.

New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals
Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes have continued to take steps in their NHL careers and show why the Devils have a bright future.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

As the offseason rolls on, it’s time to bring back the All About the Jersey Top 25 New Jersey Devils Under 25 list. This year’s edition is the eleventh edition of this list. This year’s list should invoke more optimism as the organization was able to add a top defensive prospect for the second year in a row through the draft. The eight-player 2022 draft class also included a high upside pick in the second round and a highly rated goaltender in the fourth round. In keeping up with tradition since 2013, this list will also feature your input. We want to hear your opinions and utilize the wisdom of crowds to help come up with our ranking. As we have done in previous years, you will see a survey available to you so you can cast your vote on how you would rank these players. Now let’s take a look at who is eligible, what the 2021 list looked like, and what personnel changes have happened since last year’s list.

The Requirements & The Plan

This list reflects the players in the New Jersey Devils organization as of August 1. This includes restricted free agents that have received a qualifying offer for the 2022-23 season. The main requirement for this list is that the player is under the age of 25 as of September 15. With that requirement, we have another big list with 49 players eligible for ranking. This is slightly down from last year’s list which had 51 players eligible for ranking.

As we have done in the past, the final list will be determined by the rankings of the All About the Jersey writers and the results of the community survey. All rankings will be weighed equally and averaged to determine the order of the final list. The results will be posted in reverse order starting with the list of players outside the top 25. We will reveal the top 25 in sets of five in the following weeks until we finish with the top 5.

The Recap of the 2021 Top 25 Under 25

Jack Hughes overtook Nico Hischier for the top spot in last year’s list with 5 first-place votes and 2 second-place votes. Hischier, who had been #1 on the list from 2018 to 2020, fell back to second place for the first time since debuting there on the 2017 list. He did receive 2 first-place votes as well as 5 second-place votes. Jesper Bratt finished in third place on last year’s list as his stock continued to rise. Ty Smith finished in fourth place after a promising rookie season. Of course, we know what happened in his second NHL season and he has since been traded which means our top 5 will have a bit of a shakeup. Rounding out the top 5 on last year’s list was Yegor Sharangovich who had made the jump from #24 on the 2020 ranking. The rest of the top 10 saw Mackenzie Blackwood finish sixth, Pavel Zacha finish seventh, Janne Kuokkanen finish eighth, Luke Hughes finish ninth, and Alexander Holtz finish tenth. We can look forward to the top 10 looking a lot different with Zacha and Kuokkanen also joining Smith as departing players.

Here are the links to the whole group of posts: The Top Five - #6 through #10 - #11 through #15 - #16 through #20 - #21 through #25 - The Outsiders (#26 through #52)

The Additions

As we all know, the Devils had another tough season in 2021-22 which further motivated General Manager Tom Fitzgerald to add young talent through the draft and free agency. As a result of this, the Devils have 11 new additions to the list. This includes the 8 players acquired through the draft, 2 free agent signings, and a waiver pickup. The draft class was headlined by defenseman Simon Nemec who the team selected with the #2 pick. The free agent signings featured forwards Brian Halonen and Jack Dugan. Halonen was an undrafted free agent out of Michigan Tech last spring and Jack Dugan was signed as a free agent from the Vegas Golden Knights organization. That waiver pickup was of course forward Nathan Bastian, who the team had last to the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft, but managed to claim off waivers last November.

I’m curious to see where Simon Nemec gets ranked on this year’s list. He’s a tremendous prospect that will certainly break into the top 10, if not the top 5. It will be interesting to see if he finishes above or below Luke Hughes who is another top defenseman prospect. Another defenseman that figures to debut in the top 25 is Seamus Casey as he has a high upside but with some risk.

The Departures

While the Devils have added in 11 players for this year’s list, they do see 13 departures. These are players that either aged out, were not re-signed, were prospects who weren’t signed, were traded, or bought out.

The most notable players who have left the organization are Pavel Zacha, Ty Smith, and Janne Kuokkanen. Zacha, who was unable to reach his potential, would’ve aged out anyway but was traded to the Boston Bruins for Erik Haula. Smith had a disastrous second NHL season and as a result, the Devils opted to trade him to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the more established John Marino. Kuokkanen showed some promise early in his career with New Jersey but ended up fading last year, resulting in the team buying out his contract. Colton White and Marian Studenic are worth a mention as prospects that eventually saw some time with the Devils but have since moved on from the organization. Finally, Jonas Siegenthaler and Mackenzie Blackwood remain important members of the Devils but have aged out of consideration for this list.

The List of Players to Pick for the 2022 Top 25 Devils Under 25

Here is the full list of all Devils under the age of 25, their current contract status, their age as of September 15, and their ranking in the 2021 Top 25 Devils Under 25 list. This is in alphabetical order by the first name:

The 2022 Under-25 Devils

Name Position DOB 9/15 Age Contract/Notes 2021 Ranking
Aarne Talvitie C 2/11/1999 23.61 ELC 31
Akira Schmid G 5/12/2000 22.36 ELC 24
Alexander Holtz RW 1/23/2002 20.66 ELC 10
Arseni Gritsyuk LW 3/15/2001 21.52 Rights Owned 29
Artem Barabosha RD 3/18/2004 18.51 Rights Owned N/A
Artem Shlaine C 3/17/2002 20.51 Rights Owned 45
Brian Halonen LW 1/11/1999 23.69 ELC N/A
Case McCarthy RD 1/9/2001 21.70 Rights Owned 46
Charlie Leddy RD 1/11/2004 18.69 Rights Owned N/A
Chase Stillman RW 3/19/2003 19.51 ELC 26
Cole Brady G 2/12/2001 21.60 Rights Owned 40
Daniil Misyul LD 10/20/2000 21.92 Rights Owned 33
Daniil Orlov LD 12/21/2003 18.75 Rights Owned N/A
Dawson Mercer RW 10/27/2001 20.90 ELC 11
Ethan Edwards LD 6/6/2002 20.29 Rights Owned 38
Fabian Zetterlund RW 8/25/1999 23.07 RFA 21
Graeme Clarke RW 4/24/2001 21.41 ELC 16
Jack Dugan LW 3/24/1998 24.50 Signed N/A
Jack Hughes C 5/14/2001 21.35 Signed 1
Jakub Malek G 4/11/2002 20.44 Rights Owned 48
Jaromir Pytlik C 9/25/2001 20.99 Rights Owned 37
Jeremy Groleau LD 10/25/1999 22.91 ELC 50
Jesper Boqvist C 10/30/1998 23.89 Signed 15
Jesper Bratt LW 7/30/1998 24.15 RFA 3
Josh Filmon LW 3/18/2004 18.51 Rights Owned N/A
Kevin Bahl LD 6/27/2000 22.23 ELC 19
Luke Hughes LD 9/9/2003 19.03 Rights Owned 9
Michael McLeod C 2/3/1998 24.63 Signed 12
Michael Vukojevic LD 6/8/2001 21.28 ELC 27
Nathan Bastian RW 12/6/1997 24.79 Signed N/A
Nico Daws G 12/22/2000 21.75 ELC 32
Nico Hischier C 1/4/1999 23.71 Signed 2
Nikita Okhotiuk LD 12/4/2000 21.79 ELC 22
Nikola Pasic C 10/16/2000 21.93 Rights Owned 28
Nolan Foote LW 11/29/2000 21.81 ELC 13
Patrick Moynihan C 1/23/2001 21.66 Rights Owned 30
Petr Hauser RW 9/19/2003 19.00 Rights Owned N/A
Reilly Walsh RD 4/21/1999 23.42 ELC 17
Samu Salminen C 4/9/2003 19.45 Rights Owned 25
Seamus Casey RD 1/8/2004 18.70 Rights Owned N/A
Shakir Mukhamadullin LD 1/10/2002 20.69 ELC 18
Simon Nemec RD 2/15/2004 18.59 ELC N/A
Topias Vilen LD 4/1/2003 19.47 ELC 42
Tyce Thompson C 7/12/1999 23.19 RFA 20
Tyler Brennan G 9/27/2003 18.98 Rights Owned N/A
Viktor Hurtig RD 4/28/2002 20.40 Rights Owned 47
Yegor Sharangovich C 6/6/1998 24.29 Signed 5
Yegor Zaitsev LD 5/3/1998 24.39 Rights Owned 43
Zakhar Bardakov C 2/24/2001 21.57 Rights Owned 44

You should be able to copy this whole table and paste it into Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets. This would allow you to move various names around to help you create your ideal order before heading over to the survey.

The Community Survey

As with past years, John has set up a survey for all of you to rank these players. Here is the link to rank all 49 players. You can drag and drop the names into the order that you want to rank them. You can also select the ranking by the number next to each person. Please be sure to rank all of these players so we can get the most accurate ranking possible. For example, we wouldn’t want a player that is likely to be well outside the top 25 to end up with top 10 or 25 votes just because not all of these players were ranked. Once you have ranked all 49 players, hit “Done” and your response will be submitted.

The survey will close on August 16 at 11 AM. This should provide enough time for everyone to think about the list and how they want to rank these players. We will collect the responses after it is closed and combine them with the final rankings from the writers’ list. John will reveal which players are outside the top 25 on August 19. I will begin to reveal the list in sets of five starting with #21 through #25 on August 23.

Your Take

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.