Welcome to the third and final chapter of my opinion on the Devils off-season to-do list.
7) Captain Andy Greene
This may be an unpopular opinion to some fans, let Andy Greene ride out his time in Jersey. Since making the NHL Roster full-time in the 07-08 season the 36-year-old D-man has been a workhorse. Greene has played on competitive Devils teams and some not so competitive, you never hear anything negative out of his mouth. He’s done everything the coaching staff has ever asked of him and I feel he deserves the C on his chest. Next year is the last year on his contract, I’m not saying the organization should re-sign him. What I am saying is the team should give him the respect he’s deserved and let him finish his career as the Captain of the New Jersey Devils.
8) NHL Entry Draft 2019
Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are the two biggest names in the upcoming entry draft. In order to get one of them the Devils will have to hope they can land the #1 or #2 pick. Coming down to the last few weeks on the season it’s looking like Jersey wont have a great shot at either of those picks. This doesn’t mean New Jersey can’t have a good draft. Anyone who has actually studied and watched highlights of anyone in the early parts of this years draft, can tell you there is more talent that just Hughes and Kakko. Looking for a center? Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach and Trevor Zegras are all in this years draft. These players may not make the cut right from the entry draft, but believe me they all have talent.
9) Prospects Camp
One of the most important steps of the off-season, if not the most important is the prospects camp. Reason why I say that? This is a moment when you show the prospects what your organization is a about. This is the Devils chance to show them this is a franchise with a winning history, show them the direction the team is heading in. They build relationships with other prospects, even make friends. From the day those kids come to the arena to the day they leave the Devils need to make them feel like family. From the coverage that’s provided during the off-season it usually looks like most of the prospects enjoy their time. Create a good, positive, dedicated work place and show them you care about having them within the organization. If the Devils follow some of these aspects of camp, it may just mean enough to a young prospect to want to stay.
We’ve covered 9 different items the Devils need to accomplish this off-season, based solely on my opinion. # 3 on my list was sign Mojo if we didn’t trade him, so that’s off the table.#4 on my list was give the AHL players some playing time, due to numerous injuries, this is happening. #5 on my list was upgrade the defense. Traded Lovejoy and received Connor Carrick, step in the right direction in my opinion. # 6 on my list was show Mackenzie Blackwood that they believe he can be the future. They traded Kinkaid and called him up Mack, that’s a good start.
Some items on my list have already happened, some items aren’t able to happen yet. I know fans can’t wait until September, but honestly, I feel the Devils will have an exciting summer, it’ll be fun to watch.