Devils’ 2011 first-rounder Larsson knows pressure is on this year

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Adam Larsson’s time in the NHL since being taken fourth overall by the New Jersey Devils in 2011 has seen more downs than ups and he’s hoping to change that this season.

The 20-year-old Swedish blue liner tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice he knows he has a lot to prove this year.

“I knew it would take a couple of years to really adjust and get used to the game,” Larsson said. “This is an important year for me, so I have to step up and show the coaches and show the organization that I earned a spot in 82 games this year.”

Larsson’s battle for a spot is a healthy mix of veterans and fellow youngsters hungry to prove themselves.

Established guys like Anton Volchenkov, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Mark Fayne, Marek Zidlicky, and Peter Harrold will all vie for playing time while young guys like Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, and Alex Urbom will be there to push as well.

If Larsson isn’t sharp, he could wind up back in the press box or the minors. Put up or shut up time? Sure seems like it.