Photo: Forward Blake Coleman is wrapping up a breakout junior season with the Miami Redhawks, where he has posted 18 goals and seven assists through 25 games. (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Under general manager Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey Devils have always valued players from the NCAA ranks. They currently have a nice balance of forwards and defensemen at the college level, led Boston College freshman Steve Santini
Photo: Defenseman Jon Merrill continues to be the top prospect for the New Jersey Devils. Merrill was selected in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
Whether or not the New Jersey Devils reach the postseason, management can be satisfied with the NHL-ready talent waiting in the wings. Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill have shown they can become impactful blueliners, as has the recently re-acquired Alexander Urbom.
Photo: Eric Gelinas is one of four defensemen the New Jersey Devils selected in the 2009 NHL Draft. Gelinas has five goals and 14 assists through 39 NHL games this season. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The 2009 off-season was one of upheaval for the New Jersey Devils. Despite claiming the Atlantic Division title and finishing third in the Eastern Conference, a veteran heavy Devils squad was upset in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In early June of 2009, head coach Brent Sutter left the organization to return home to Alberta and coach the Calgary Flames.
Photo: Goaltender Scott Wedgewood is currently in his second full season of professional hockey. Wedgewood was selected in the third round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
General Manager Lou Lamoriello has done a good job of restocking the lackluster New Jersey Devils farm system over the past six years. The junior and college ranks have produced talented prospects of all skill levels that fit the Devils mold. Now their minor league affiliate is reaping the benefits of this youth movement.
Photo: Seth Helgeson was the only senior defenseman on the Minnesota Golden Gophers roster this season. Helgeson recently signed a two-year entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils. (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)
As the 2012-13 season comes to a close, it is time to hand out the end of the year awards for the New Jersey Devils prospects. While the NHL team struggled, many of their junior players performed very well for their respected clubs. What may be surprising are that most of the recipients are forwards. New Jersey features a healthy stock of quality defensemen, but lacks depth and talent up front. Still, the few standouts had terrific seasons that cannot be overlooked.