31 in 31: Top Ten Prospects Vol. 18 – New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils

Welcome back to my 31 in 31 prospect series.

Last time, we took a look at the Nashville Predators’ farm system, seeking out a group that was highlighted by Eeli Tolvanen, Dante Fabbro, and Frederic Allard. Today, we’re going to be kicking off a minor tour of the New York-area teams, beginning with the New Jersey Devils. Without further ado, let’s dive into their farm system and check out who they have going for them.

1. Ty Smith (D, 1st Round, 17th Overall in 2018)

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If you enter a team’s farm system and instantly become their best prospect, then you’ve got something good going for you. This logic usually applies to top draft prospects, but seeing that Smith was 17th overall and jumped to the top of the list shows that he’s expected to be a gem. He’s currently playing for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He’s currently in his first year as team captain and has 39 points in 28 games.

2. Michael McLeod (C, 1st Round, 16th Overall in 2016)

After a very successful-post draft season, McLeod cooled down in his final OHL seasons, raising questions about his potential in the organization. However, the smooth-skating Toronto native has cleaned up his game and found himself getting off to a good start in his first full season in the pros. He currently has 15 points in 28 games with the Binghamton Devils of the AHL.

3. Jesper Boqvist (C, 2nd Round, 36th Overall in 2017)

After putting up impressive stats in all of Sweden’s major hockey leagues, Boqvist earned himself a second round selection in 2017. He’s off to a very good start with Brynas IF of the SHL, having put up 19 points in 25 games so far. If he continues to score at this pace, he could very well end up in North America for next season.

4. John Quenneville (LW, 1st Round, 30th Overall in 2014)

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Quenneville is off to a great start in his third full pro season. He currently has 19 points in 19 games so far, and has actually been able to produce pretty consistently every year since joining the pros, but hasn’t remained in the NHL for more than 12 games a season. He’s played eight NHL games this year and hasn’t recorded any points, but he’s looking to make his NHL role a permanent one this year.

5. Mackenzie Blackwood (G, 2nd Round, 42nd Overall in 2015)

In a draft class where there were multiple goaltending options to choose from, the Devils grabbed one of the best ones in the second round. Blackwood didn’t get off to an overly hot start in his first two pro seasons, but has found his game this season with the Binghamton Devils and has put together a record of 6-7-0 with a goals against average of 2.69 and a save percentage of .911. With the uncertainty between the pipes in the NHL, Blackwood will look to ideally become their starting goalie in the future.

6. Joey Anderson (RW, 3rd Round, 73rd Overall in 2016)

After turning heads over two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Anderson made the switch to the pros for this season and has split time between the AHL and NHL. He has five points in eight AHL games and two points in 11 NHL games. The Minnesota native will look to find himself a concrete roster spot in the big leagues this season.

7. Reilly Walsh (D, 3rd Round, 81st Overall in 2017)

Walsh is in his second season with Harvard University and has done nothing but impress so far, putting up a total of 12 points through 11 games so far. The Massachusetts native has had his heart set on pursuing an education and making a living through hockey since day one, and the possibility will grow as he keeps improving his game.

8. Jeremy Davies (D, 7th Round, 192nd Overall in 2016)

Davies has consistently been lighting up the NCAA ever since he joined Northeastern University. He is currently in his third season with the school and has mustered 15 points in 13 games, on pace for his best offensive season so far. If he keeps it up, it’s hard to believe the Quebec native won’t find himself in the pros for next season.

9. Aarne Talvitie (C, 6th Round, 160th Overall in 2017)

While most Finnish prospects pursue the majority of their development in their homeland, Talvitie is playing college hockey in the states this season. He’s currently playing for Penn State University where he’s put up 16 points in 17 games thus far. He will also be looking to represent Team Finland at the World Juniors this season.

10. Xavier Bernard (D, 4th Round, 110th Overall in 2018)

As much as the game is developing each year as skill has become more of a priority than size, Bernard will always have his size and his position on his size. The 6’3 left handed d-man is currently playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL and has put up 16 points in 32 games so far.

Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll continue the NY tour and check out the New York Islanders farm system.

stats from eliteprospects.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

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Author: Alex Hobson