Photo: Val-d’Or Foreurs goaltender and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Antoine Bibeau was dealt from the Charlottetown Islanders to the Foreurs in late December, with Bibeau assuming the starting role with his new club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
"Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years…"
Although the QMJHL is a long way from its 1990's heyday, when it regularly knocked out similar junior leagues when it came to the development of NHL goaltending prospects, the league currently boasts nine netminders who have been drafted or signed by NHL clubs. This number was bolstered by a bumper crop of five current QMJHL goalies drafted in the 2013 NHL Draft.
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: 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.