Young Devils Team Playing With Confidence Oct 30, 2017 14:33:02 GMT -5 Luongod, Former Yotes GM, and 1 more like this
Post by Deleted on Oct 30, 2017 14:33:02 GMT -5
The young New Jersey Devils team is one of the talks of the league through the first month of the NHL season. The team is off to a good start, and sits in a playoff spot. The Devils could arguably have been leading the Metro Division, had it not been for the early struggles of backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood, who lost all 3 games he played in October. Luckily though, young phenom Dustin Wolf has won 5 of his 6 games, including a shut out, to keep the Devils in the playoff picture. Despite Wolf's performance, the Devils coaching staff have been speaking the highest praise of the Devils second line, featuring Ryan Strome, Brayden Schenn, and Jesse Puljujarvi. Ryan Strome is over a point per game, and is among the league leaders in points, while Schenn is just outside the top 5 in goals.
"When you got Schenn shooting like he is, and Pulls creating the space he does, it makes it real easy for me" Strome said. "We had a good year last year, but so far this year, we feel unstoppable".
However it isn't just one line. All 12 forwards on the Devils are off to good starts. Nolan Patrick is also in the top 10 in league scoring, and rookie Arthur Kyanulin is an early candidate for the Calder Trophy, along side Arizona's Cain Tucker. In fact, the Devils forward depth, is what will need to carry the Devils into the playoffs. The Devils made a trade Monday morning to try and create more of a balance on defense, trading Zach Bogosian and Alec Martinez to Minnesota for Timothy Liljegren and Dmitry Kulikov. The Devils are hoping the pair of Thomas Chabot and Liljegren can grow into a future top pairing, while the deal also allows Dion Phaneuf, a signing from this past summer, to move beside Jacob Larsson on the top pairing. The team seems interested in having Ryan Pulock beside sophomore offensive d-man Morgan Warren, but it appears that Dmitry Kulikov will at least get a short opportunity in that spot.
Devils GM Cor spoke to media Monday afternoon. Here's some of the highlights;
On the trade with Minnesota
"It was a tough deal to make. Martinez and Bogosian were warriors for us, and I'd like to personally thank them for their service here. However, Timothy Liljegren is a real talent. He excels at shutting down the opposition, but is sneaky with his offensive abilities. At just 21 years of age, he's definitely a guy we see as apart of our core for the foreseeable future. Kulikov is much like Zach, both were once highly touted young players, as they have become the veterans they have both settled into veteran roles. Overall, this deal helps us moving forward. This is a process."
On Dustin Wolf
"Dustin came into this season very motivated. He felt slighted by the league and media for not getting the recognition he deserved. I think it shows. Dustin is a serious talent. A kid who will win some Vezina's when all is said and done."
On Arthur Kyanulin
"Well before the draft, I had said that the draft lists where all over the place. I think Central Scouting had Arthur ranked in the teens, and we drafted him 4th. His start, is everything we could have hoped for. Briefly after the draft we were considering leaving him in Russia or the CHL for another year, and we are glad we didn't. I think he's a huge part of this team already."
On Morgan Warren, and Thomas Chabot
"You know, Warren played on our top pairing last year. Chabot our second. I think both got unfairly slandered for the results this team had last season. I think given their age, and the role they were in, things would have been worse if we didn't have them. This year, we are allowing Warren to be protected a little bit more on the third pairing, while still giving him the powerplay time, while Chabot is in the same position as last year, but given the huge summer he had, we are fine with it."
On his expectations the rest of the way
"Effort. Right now we are in a playoff spot. This team needs to fight to stay in that position. Maybe come April we have fallen out of that spot, and that's okay, as long as we see the effort from our players. The willingness to get better."