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New Jersey, NJ • United States • 28 Years Old • Male

Rise of the Rookies

Posted 11:39 PM ET | Comments 0
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. There was a decidedly sullen mood around Devil-land when Brian Rolston went down with a high-ankle sprain and Bobby Holik broke his finger. In two days time, there it went...all the money we spent over the offseason to make us a better team gone, out the window.

But as I said, there is a silver lining to this injury cloud, and that is the players that have stepped in to fill in the holes while Rolston and Holik recover.

First, there was Petr Vrana. The young Czech stepped in against Washington and became the lucky 13th Devil rookie to score a goal in his NHL debut. (In case you were wondering, the other 12 are Jeff Madill, Scott Pellerin, Denis Pederson, Petr Sykora, Steve Sullivan, Pascal Rheaume, Brendan Morrison, Pierre Dagenais, Jiri Bicek, Josef Boumedienne, Mike Rupp, and Zach Parise.) Four days later, enter Pierre-Luc Leblond, whose last name is actually Letourneau-Leblond, but it was hard enough for the equipment guys to fit "Langenbrunner" on the back of a jersey, so forget all that two names nonsense. But anyway, enter Leblond, Quebec native and all around grinder. In Leblond's first NHL game, a 5-0 win over the Dallas Stars, Leblond pitched in a helper, and made his presence felt in the game.

Two injuries to players who were supposed to drastically improve this team's offense; two rookies who step in and not only provide a stopgap, but produce points and become an active part of the team's wins. And who knows, one or both may even earn more a prominent role on the team even after the players they are filling in for return.

Understudies for now, but stars in the making. A cliche statement, yes, but no exaggeration: with the likes of Vrana, Leblond, and many more working their way through the pipeline, the future of the Devils certainly is bright.
Filed Under:   new   jersey   devils   rookies   players   vrana   leblond  
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