Photo: Defenseman Seth Helgeson has split the 2014-15 season between the AHL and NHL. Helgeson was picked in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)
The problems of the Albany Devils mirror those of their parent team the New Jersey Devils. Since the start of the 2014-15 season, both clubs have been mired by injuries and inconsistency.
Photo: Forward Reid Boucher is one of the more promising forwards in the New Jersey Devils prospect pool. Boucher started the 2014-15 season in the AHL, but should be among the first forwards recalled by the Devils in case of injury. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
Since the 2004 lockout, the New Jersey Devils system has not produced the same quality of prospects they were known for during their glory days. This is a result of different issues, like lack of picks, location on the draft board, or losing the magic touch to find late-round gems. But over the past seven years, management has slowly restocked the prospect pool where depth and quality are now returning NHL ready players.
Photo: Arizona Coyotes prospect Henrik Samuelsson celebrates the first goal of the game vs. the Los Angeles Kings in what would be a three-point night for the former Edmonton Oil Kings forward (courtesy of Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
It was Split Squad Mania on Day 2 of the 2014 NHL preseason slate as eight of the 12 games played involved teams icing a split squad. Seemingly more chances for NHL prospects to shine, but in the end only a handful of notable performances from the youngsters. Read more»
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: 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.