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.
Photo: Boston College defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Steven Santini has registered six points (2G, 4A) and a +13 rating in his freshman season with the Eagles (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Team USA defenseman Steven Santini's last appearance at a World Junior Championship, the 2013 U18 WJC back in April of last year, was a memorable one. In addition to winning the gold medal along with his USA teammates, Santini also was named that tournament's Best Defenseman.
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.