The New Jersey Devils took a huge loss before the start of last season. After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals, and then losing to the Los Angeles Kings, they lost captain Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild. Then there were talks of Devils legend Martin Brodeurleaving the game for good, but he ended up sticking around. He even scored a goal. I don’t think New Jersey has what it takes to make the playoffs this year, but here are my three players for next year’s big stars in Jersey.
Patrik Elias is a strong left wing on the New Jersey squad. He recorded 36 points in 48 games, and ended the season with a +5 rating. His points were almost split between goals and assists (14G, 22A) and that is something this team needs. If Elias can keep this up, he will strike the points’ goldmine. He is going to be a fierce competitor, and that is exactly what the team needs right now.
Marek Zidlickyis a decent defenseman, and I think he will be good this year. His 19 points last season (48 games) wasn’t the best, but his 15 assists did help. His -12 rating though is something he really needs to work on. It is his job to make sure the puck stays away from the net, and this year I think he will get a handle on that. I think he is going to have a + rating this season.
This brings me to the goaltender section. During last years’ draft, New Jersey gave up their 9th overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Cory Schneider. Schneider was battling Roberto Luongo in Vancouver for the starting spot, and it looked like it was almost his, after Luongo seemed to have a falling-out. But, they decided to give up Schneider and make Luongo their number 1, and drafted Bo Horvat. Schneider is a solid goaltender, who recorded a 17-9-4 season, then losing his two playoff games in the sweep against San Jose. He will definitely be a strong goalie this year, and he can be one of the better backups this season.
These were my three picks for rising stars in New Jersey, but I want to know who YOU think are going to be rising stars. Tweet us @TMMotS and @NardoneDylan to let us know your picks! Hope to hear from you, and thanks for reading.