|Mike Cammalleri – LW||Martin Brodeur – G|
|Martin Havlat – RW||Mark Fayne – D|
|Scott Clemmensen – G||Anton Volchenkov – D|
It looks like for the first time since the 1990-91 season the New Jersey Devils will start a season with no Martin Brodeur on their roster.
The 42-year-old Brodeur remains unsigned and it does not look like the Devils have any plans in bringing him back as Cory Schneider’s back-up. In his first season with New Jersey, Schneider went 16-15-12 with a 1.97 GAA (3rd in the NHL),.921 SV% (t-13th) and three shutouts. He was great for a second straight year as a full-time NHL starter and he appears ready to start 60-plus games as the Devils begin life without Brodeur. From a fantasy perspective, Schneider will post a great GAA (2.12 career) and SV% (.925) but could have a tough time racking up the wins. He has the potential to be a top-10 fantasy netminder, but likely won’t be drafted as such. The Devils brought Scott Clemmensen back in free agency (drafted by NJ in 1997) and he should serve as Schneider’s back-up this season.
New Jersey also brought in a couple of veteran forwards to try and solidify their top-6. The signed 32-year-old Mike Cammalleri to a five-year deal worth $25 million and brought Martin Havlat in on a one-year contract. Cammalleri is a proven scorer, but he is streaky and injury prone. Like he did in Calgary, Cammalleri will play a big role in the Devils’ offence and should have no problem posting a 20-20 season. Aside from Adam Henrique there is no youth in this group. Last year they were led by the ageless Jaromir Jagr and that will likely be the case again this season. Close to 20 goals and 50-plus points should be no problem and there is a chance for 60 again. Back to Henrique. Like Cammalleri, he is streaky. But after he got the taste of his first career 25-goal season, expect 20-plus goals to become a trend. They are surrounded by guys like Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias, Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe. Zajac had a very strong second half last year, so there is some promise there while Elias continues to be a consistent force even at 38.
On the blueline they are led by Marek Zidlicky. He had one of the best seasons of his career in 2013-14, posting 12 goals and 30 assists (42 points). He has only missed one game in the last two seasons and their power-play revolves around him. His numbers have stayed consistent throughout his career, so do not expect them to drop off now. Andy Greene is another solid veteran fantasy defenseman. He also had one of his best campaigns with 32 points (8G / 24A) in 82 games. Like Zidlicky he does not miss games very often and leads the team in time on ice and is a staple on their power-play.
The Devils also have three young D-men with loads of talent in the offensive zone. Adam Larsson has been a bust to this point, but he will only be 22-years-old in November, so there is a lot of time for him to change that. He has a great two-way game, but has only shown his offensive prowess in the AHL, posting 38 points in 66 games over two seasons. Eric Gelinas, 23, hammered home seven goals (five on the PP) with 29 points in 60 games. He is a strong skater and has an absolute bomb for a slapper. He’ll be back on the power-play this season and should take aim at 15 goals. Lastly, Jon Merrill had 11 points in 52 games last year and has a strong two-way game with a lot of raw offensive talent. He is expected to be back on the power-play next to Gelinas and could be a mid-season fantasy addition if he starts producing.
Look to the Draft (Ranking Devils’ Fantasy Players)
- Cory Schneider – G
- Jaromir Jagr – RW
- Patrik Elias – LW/C
- Travis Zajac – C
- Mike Cammalleri – LW
- Marek Zidlicky – D
- Eric Gelinas – D
- Adam Henrique – C
- Andy Greene – D
- Michael Ryder – RW
Click HERE for the Devils’ potential line combinations heading into the 2014-15 season.
Season prediction: The Devils finish seventh in the Metropolitan division.
Other Season Previews: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames,Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars,Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators