Photo: Defenseman Steve Santini is one of several strong defensive prospects in the New Jersey Devils system. Santini was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
Stacked with 12 shootout loses and inconsistent play throughout the year, the New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs for the third time in four years. Once more, scoring was the culprit as the Devils failed to finish off their opponents when they had to in regulation.
Photo: Forward Ben Thomson played a key part of North Bay’s deep run through the OHL playoffs. New Jersey signed Thomson to an entry-level deal on May 23rd, 2014. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
While the New Jersey Devils missed the 2013-14 NHL playoffs, quite a few of their prospects had impactful postseasons. Their AHL affiliate reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010, giving many pro prospects their first taste of the postseason. Other players at lower levels, such as Damon Severson and Ben Thomson, also had strong playoff performances.
Photo: When healthy, Ryan Kujawinski was very productive for the Kingston Frontenacs. Kujawinski was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
With the 2013-14 NHL regular season drawing to a close, it is time to hand out some hardware. For the New Jersey Devils, it was another good season for many prospects. From Albany's rookie class spearheading the team's postseason run, to the success of many collegiate players, as well as Graham Black's stellar year, and the emergence of Miles Wood.
Photo: Nikita Kucherov has parlayed a hot start in the AHL with Syracuse into a full-time gig with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013-14 (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 21-30. This particular section of the rankings is led by dynamic young forward Nikita Kucherov, who is one of several promising young forwards playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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.