There may be more than a few jobs up for grabs during training camp with the New Jersey Devils and the team’s slew of prospects know they’ll have a shot to cash in.
One area that will see a lot of competition is defense. The Devils lost Anton Volchenkov to a buyout and Mark Fayne to Edmonton in free agency. That means guys like Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson, and Jon Merrill will likely graduate to the big leagues full-time.
As Devils coach Peter DeBoer told Mike Morreale of NHL.com, they need guys to show they’re ready to make the jump.
“I think the organization sets the table with opportunity, and over my time as coach the one thing I’ve seen is opportunity for players to come in and play,” said DeBoer. “Some of the young players grabbed it and ran with it, like Jon Merrill and Adam Henrique (in 2010-11), and some haven’t yet. We need a few of these guys to do that this year.”
With a couple of guys gone on the blue line and possible openings at forward, the Devils want guys to be pushing to get in the lineup and force DeBoer to make tough decisions.
Andy Greene, Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky, and Peter Harrold make up the veteran portion of the defense for the Devils so youth will need to be king. After how Merrill and Gelinas played for portions of last season, things are looking up.