Photo: Defenseman Jon Merrill had a strong rookie pro season in 2013-14, managing two goals and nine assists in 52 NHL games. (courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Thanks to a few rookies stepping up last season, the New Jersey Devils feel comfortable to trust their prospects with bigger roles going forward. The change has already started on the blue line, but the transition with forwards might take a while.
Photo: John Quenneville was one of several prospects selected in the 2014 NHL Draft to have NHL bloodlines. His second cousin, Joel, is the current head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Entering the draft, the New Jersey Devils were playing with house money. The NHL had rescinded part of the penalty from the Ilya Kovalchuk cap-circumventing contract and gave the team their first round pick back. Thus, the team entered Philadelphia with six picks.