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: Albany Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid, shown here playing for New Jersey in an NHL preseason game, has been among the top goaltenders in the AHL so far in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As the AHL season has entered full swing, so have the NHL recalls. Many AHL players have already seen considerable time in the NHL, or have spent a large number of days traveling between where their parent club is playing, and where their AHL team is located.
Photo: QMJHL forward Anthony Mantha took his game to the international stage in December, where he managed 10 points in four preliminary round games at the 2014 World Junior Championships. Mantha was selected 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Forward Anthony Mantha (DET) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for December. An offensively prolific player since the start of the 2013-14 season, Mantha took his game to another level in December, with 14 points in five QMJHL games and 10 points through the preliminary round of the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Photo: Keith Kinkaid has been one of the top goaltenders in the AHL this season. In 16 starts, Kinkaid has an 11-4-1 record, three shutouts, and a 2.09 goals against average. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
While the New Jersey Devils are having a roller coaster season, their minor league affiliate, the Albany Devils, are the surprise team of the AHL. Part of the reason is the play from their rookie class, featuring some of the franchises top prospects, including Jon Merrill, Reid Boucher, and Stefan Matteau.
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.