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NJ • United States • 30 Years Old • Male
With Gragnani clearing waivers and being sent down to Albany, the Devils have 25 players on their 23 man roster (15 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goalies). With Patrik Elias to miss the start of the season with a knee injury, he will start the season on injured reserve. This means the Devils have to cut one more player from their roster by Tuesday. The two players who seem to be on the cusp are defensemen Seth Helgeson and 1st round pick Pavel Zacha. Lets take a look at both options.
If Helgeson stays, he will be the 8th defensemen behind David Schlemko. This means that he will be getting no playing time. With the Devils already set on young defense, Helgeson is the odd man out. The best option for his development is to send him to Albany where he can play top 4 minutes every night.
Pavel Zacha is the other option. He has shown he can play in the NHL, but not at top line minutes. If he stays, he will be behind centers Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson, assuming Henrique stays on the wing. Josefson has shown that he is ready for a bigger role and he deserves it. It would be best if Zacha is sent back down to Sarnia where he can play top line minutes and be on the ice at critical times.
I think Helgeson will be the first to be sent down and the Devils will give one last shot for Zacha to prove himself. Looking back, the Devils played Matteau right after drafting him and I think that did stunt his growth. The only way Zacha will stay in the NHL is if he can pro that he can play enough minutes a night to keep developing, but we'll see what happens on Tuesday.
Filed Under:   New Jersey Devils last cut  
October 16, 2015 9:42 AM ET | Delete
I think the Devils have more than just one move to make. They need to build around Larsson. Stop signing older players to long contracts, and make the right moves to acquire picks and prospects. If possible, get rid of Zajac and sign some guys to 1 year deals. Regardless of how much money you toss at guys, they will not improve the team drastically. The team is not competitive, nor is it benefiting from these monster deals to veteran guys like Zajac and Greene. These are just two contracts, but shedding them should be a priority.
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