clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Scouting the Enemy: New Jersey Devils

New, comments

We take a look inside the Devils in preparation for tonight's main event.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The last time these two met, the Devils started out with a four goal first period on their way to a 5-1 win over the Cats on October 11th. The last Panthers win in the series came on March 14th last season, when Brad Boyes and Brian Campbell each scored a goal with an assist on their way to a 5-3 win. In total, The Devils and Panthers have faced off 84 times in the regular season (and seven times in the playoffs). There is not an Eastern Conference team against whom Florida has a worse success rate, as evidenced by their .405 points percentage in direct conflict with New Jersey. They’re 27-43-7-7, starting with a 2-1 loss on October 23rd, 1993. Now, onto more about tonight's version of the enemy.

* - stats courtesy of hockey-reference.com, scouting reports courtesy of sportsforecaster.com

Forward Corps

First Line

Adam Henrique

Henrique is a 6', 195 lb. winger out of Brantford, Ontario. He led the NHL with four shorthanded goals as a rookie back in 2011-12, finishing third in the Calder Memorial Trophy race. He has consistently played 18 minutes a night over the last four seasons.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

235

62

74

136

This Season

41

10

16

26

Last 10 played

10

0

5

5

vs. Florida

11

1

3

4

Assets: Is quite industrious and always leads by example. Displays two-way intelligence and a high hockey IQ. Can also play wing. Plays his best in pressure situations.
Flaws: Must continue getting stronger in order to maximize his two-way acumen at the highest level. Could stand to play a more physical brand of hockey.
Career Potential: Quality two-way center with upside.


Scott Gomez

Gomez, the first Alaskan native to appear in the NHL, is a 5'11" 198 lb. center in his 15th NHL season and the winner of the 2000 Calder Memorial Trophy. He led the NHL in 2003-04 with 56 assists.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

1011

177

552

729

This Season

24

4

12

16

Last 10 played

10

2

7

9

vs. Florida

43

8

27

35

Assets: Possesses terrific vision and passing skills. Also features great speed with the puck on his stick, a swift, smooth stride, as well as puck-handling ability and agitating qualities. Excels at carrying the puck up ice on breakouts.
Flaws: His offensive production has disappeared with time, with no sign of a comeback. Doesn't play a physical game and lacks the strength to dominate. Doesn't shoot enough and can at times be a turnover machine.
Career Potential: Declining playmaking center.

Jaromir Jagr

Jagr is an almost 43-year-old winger from Kladno, Czechoslovakia in his 20th NHL season (and 24th professional season, counting his time in the KHL. He's a nine-time all-star, a five-time Art Ross Trophy, three-time Ted Lindsay Award, and one-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner. He's also second on the Devils in scoring and in penalty minutes. New Jersey is his seventh NHL team. Including the playoffs, he's played more NHL games than the Florida Panthers have.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

1517

714

1066

1780

This Season

44

9

16

25

Last 10 played

10

4

1

5

vs. Florida

61

34

37

71

Assets: Possesses two of the strongest legs ever seen on a hockey player. Has incredible instincts. Is equally strong setting up linemates or finishing. Is amazing along the wall when in control of the puck. Still a scorer after all these years.
Flaws: Can at times be a moody teammate, or struggle within the confines of a defensive system. Is not a great defender. Had issues on his way out of Pittsburgh and Washington, so his reputation precedes him to some extent.
Career Potential: All-time great right-winger.

Second Line

Patrik Elias

Elias is a three-time all-star and a two-time Stanley Cup Champion. 6'1" and 195 lbs., the 38-year-old Czech is in his 19th season, all with New Jersey. He also recently joined the 1,000 point club, the 82nd player to do so.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

1193

399

605

1004

This Season

38

6

15

21

Last 10 played

10

2

6

8

vs. Florida

57

26

25

51

Assets: Sees the ice incredibly well, skates superbly and plays a clever game of hockey. Has terrific hand/eye coordination, good goal-scoring instincts and excellent puck-distribution skills. Can play both wing and center.
Flaws: Is somewhat soft in the corners and can be accused of playing a peripheral game at times. Has become more prone to injury over time, which has led to a bit of a decline in production. Isn't a physical player at all.
Career Potential: Versatile, savvy scoring forward.

Travis Zajac

Zajac is in his ninth NHL season, all with New Jersey. A first round draft pick out of Winnipeg back in 2004, he has played in every NHL regular season game in five of his eight full seasons.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

591

124

215

339

This Season

40

8

8

16

Last 10 played

10

3

3

6

vs. Florida

27

9

14

23

Assets: Owns an excellent frame with scoring ability, highlighted by a heavy shot. Possesses a defensive conscience, too. With soft hands, he's also excellent in the face-off dot. Plays with poise and makes his linemates better.
Flaws: Despite his impressive size, he's not an intimidating force and could stand to use his big frame more effectively. Lacks a bit of quickness. Is better suited to being a No. 2 pivot than a full-fledged first liner.
Career Potential: Excellent two-way center with a little upside.

Martin Havlat

Havlat is a 14-year NHL veteran on his fifth NHL team. Originally a first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators back in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the 6'2", 210 lb. Czech is a two-time all-star.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

778

241

351

592

This Season

30

5

8

13

Last 10 played

10

3

4

6

vs. Florida

23

6

13

19

Assets: Has supreme offensive ability, tremendous speed, shiftiness and creativity. Plays a sound two-way game and scores highlight-reel goals. Can play either wing position.
Flaws: Is rather injury-prone and a little undisciplined on the ice. Needs to do a better job of avoiding traffic, since his team needs him on the ice--not in the infirmary.
Career Potential: Highly skilled, yet fragile offensive winger.

Third Line

Dainius Zubrus

Zubrus is another 18-year NHL veteran, and he's also on his fifth team. He was originally selected in the first round of the 1996 Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. A native of the former USSR, the 6'5", 225 lb. behemoth is in his eighth season with the Devils.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

1209

223

357

580

This Season

40

2

4

6

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

73

17

23

40

Assets: Has a huge frame and knows how to use it to protect the puck. Owns defensive awareness and the versatility to play any role on a hockey team. Can also play all three forward positions.
Flaws: Never lived up to advanced billing as a scorer, and he never will. Lacks offensive consistency and confidence with the puck. Also doesn't shoot the puck nearly enough to score more regularly.
Career Potential: Big, versatile yet underachieving veteran forward.

Mike Cammalleri

Cammalleri, a 5'9", 190 lb. forward from Richmond Hill, Ontario, was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2001 Draft. A 12-year veteran on his fourth NHL franchise, he currently ranks fifth in the league with a shooting success rate of 19.2%.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

705

251

272

523

This Season

36

15

6

21

Last 10 played

10

4

2

6

vs. Florida

16

6

4

10

Assets: Shoots the puck with aplomb, has excellent offensive skills and a nose for the net. Plays with intelligence and is usually in the right place at the right time. Can play all three forward positions as required.
Flaws: Lacks ideal size and strength for the National Hockey League game. Could stand to play a more consistent brand of hockey without the puck. Injuries are becoming an issue more and more.
Career Potential: Savvy and versatile scoring forward.

Steve Bernier

Bernier is a 10-year NHL veteran on his fifth NHL team (including the Florida Panthers). 6'3" and 220 lbs., he was a first round selection by the San Jose Sharks back in 2003.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

575

94

111

205

This Season

33

6

7

13

Last 10 played

10

4

1

5

vs. Florida

10

3

1

4

Assets: Owns good size and can play the role of power forward effectively in short spurts. Is also a decent penalty-killer. May have found his niche (finally) as an energy winger, though he still boasts some untapped scoring potential.
Flaws: Lacks consistency in all areas of the game. His skating holds him back in terms of being a consistent scoring threat. His physical conditioning has been an issue in the past, and it's cost him at the National Hockey League level.
Career Potential: Physical energy winger.

Fourth Line

Jordin Tootoo

Tootoo is a 5'9", 199 lb. winger from Churchill, Manitoba. An original selection of the Nashville Predators in the fourth round in 2001, this is his third NHL team and his 11th season at hockey's highest level.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

573

53

85

138

This Season

34

4

0

4

Last 10 played

10

2

0

2

vs. Florida

9

0

1

1

Assets: Has a motor that never quits. Hits everything that moves. Displays some offensive instincts and decent hands. Plays with a lot of passion. Can play either wing position. Will drop the gloves.
Flaws: His rock 'em, sock 'em style will at times hurt his team more than it helps, since he tends to rile up opponents in a big way or take bad penalties (questionable hits). Has had to deal with off-ice issues.
Career Potential: Veteran agitator.

Jacob Josefson

Josefson is a 6'1", 190 lb. center from Stockholm, and a first round selection of the Devils in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. This is his fifth NHL season.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

146

9

21

30

This Season

28

2

3

5

Last 10 played

10

1

2

3

vs. Florida

3

1

0

1

Assets: Is a very cerebral performer with good hands and excellent hockey sense. Has two-way acumen and pretty good offensive ability.
Flaws: Needs to get significantly stronger in order to handle big National Hockey League defensemen at the highest level. Injuries are a concern.
Career Potential: Savvy two-way center with upside.

Tuomo Ruutu

Ruutu is an 11-year veteran from Vantaa, Finland. The 31-year-old forward is with his third NHL team. The 6', 205 lb. former first round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks has eclipsed 30 points five times over his career, and tabbed 50 or more twice.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

669

146

194

340

This Season

44

5

3

8

Last 10 played

10

0

2

2

vs. Florida

32

10

14

24

Assets: He competes hard and is not afraid of the rough going. In fact, he enjoys stirring up opponents. Plays with both skill and confidence. Can both set up plays or finish them. Skates well and can line up at any forward position.
Flaws: Injuries are always a concern, mainly because of his gung-ho style of play. Will sometimes cross the line with questionable hits. Lacks overall consistency in all three zones.
Career Potential: Versatile, agitating scoring forward.

Defensive Corps

First Pairing

Andy Greene

Greene, a 5'11", 190 lb. Michigan native, is in his ninth NHL season, all with New Jersey. He led the league in 2012-13 with 3.8 defensive point shares.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

525

28

132

160

This Season

48

0

11

11

Last 10 played

10

0

2

2

vs. Florida

23

1

7

8

Assets: Has the solid puck-moving skills needed to succeed in today's NHL. Displays good poise with or without the puck. Is a good team player.
Flaws: Doesn't produce offense on a consistent basis. Lacks the size to better handle big forwards at the National Hockey League level.
Career Potential: Solid, mobile puck-moving defenseman.

Adam Larsson

Larsson was the fourth overall pick out of Skelleftea, Sweden in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Devils. The 6'3", 205 lb. defender is now in his fourth full season.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

158

5

32

37

This Season

30

2

8

10

Last 10 played

10

1

5

6

vs. Florida

7

0

2

2

Assets: Can play the game with exceptional poise. Has a great point shot and a very projectable frame. Oozes all-round ability and can be a big minute-muncher, too.
Flaws: Needs to become more assertive physically, especially when it comes to the utilization of his 6-3 frame. Must also tighten up his defensive-zone coverage.
Career Potential: Talented defenseman with good upside.

Second Pairing

Mark Fraser

Fraser, a 6'4", 220 lb. defenseman from Ottawa, was the Devils' third round selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Now in his seventh season, his stay with the Devils was interrupted by stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

193

4

15

19

This Season

8

0

1

1

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

9

0

0

0

Assets: Has good size, decent mobility and the ability to play a physical game from the back end. Usually plays it safe in the defensive zone.
Flaws: Doesn't have a lot of offensive ability, so he's never going to play regular minutes on the power play. Needs to show greater consistency.
Career Potential: Physical depth defenseman.

Marek Zidlicky

Zidlicky, a 5'11", 190 lb. Czech, was a sixth round pick of the New York Rangers in the 2001 draft. Now in his 11th season, he has played parts of four seasons in each of his three NHL stops. In 2003-04, he played in every game, and was second in the NHL with 58 power play goals on-ice-for.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

747

82

305

387

This Season

48

4

16

20

Last 10 played

10

0

2

2

vs. Florida

12

1

3

4

Assets: Can be a major offensive threat from behind the blueline. Has a wealth of top-level experience and plenty of polish working the power play. Is a clever passer who packs a heavy shot from the point and likes to join the attack.
Flaws: Lacks the size and strength needed to excel when given heavy minutes in the NHL. Is prone to making bad decisions in the defensive zone when under pressure. Doesn't always choose the best time to pinch in from the point.
Career Potential: Veteran offensive defenseman.

Third Pairing

Jon Merrill

Merrill, a second-year player, was drafted in the second round by the Devils in 2010. The 6'3", 209 lb. defender from Oklahoma City has been playing 21 and a half minutes per game.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

86

4

17

21

This Season

34

2

8

10

Last 10 played

10

0

2

2

vs. Florida

3

0

1

1

Assets: Has plenty of puck-moving and offensive ability. Also boasts a very projectable frame and the physicality to become a quality shutdown defender, as well.
Flaws: Lacks discipline, on and off the ice. That must change in order for him to maximize his vast National Hockey League potential. Also needs more bulk for his 6-3 frame.
Career Potential: Talented all-around defenseman with good upside.

Peter Harrold

Harrold, a 31-year-old defenseman from Kirtland Hills, OH, is a 6', 185 lb. ninth-year player on his second NHL team.

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

Career

250

11

27

38

This Season

19

1

0

1

Last 10 played

10

0

0

0

vs. Florida

6

1

2

3

Assets: Is a very good skater. Moves the puck out of the defensive zone quickly and efficiently when playing defense. Can also be used as a winger in a pinch and is a sound forechecker as a forward.
Flaws: Lacks ideal size for any position at the highest level. Seems incapable of playing consistently well over a long period of time. Also lacks high-end offensive ability.
Career Potential: Versatile depth defenseman.

Goaltenders

Probable starter

Cory Schneider

Schneider is a 28-year-old seven-year veteran on his second NHL team. He was Roberto Luongo's primary backup in Vancouver for three of those seasons. The 6'2", 195 lb. gloveman from Marblehead, MA was chosen in the first round of the 2004 draft by the Canucks.

Games

W

L

OTL

SV%

GAA

SO

Career

185

88

60

24

0.924

2.18

14

This Season

42

17

19

4

0.921

2.37

2

Last 10 played

10

6

3

0

0.934

1.84

0

vs. Florida

5

3

1

0

0.921

1.95

0

Assets: Is very quick for a big goaltender. Gets down in the butterfly position and then back up with fluidity. Positionally strong, he reads plays well and displays confidence in his puck-stopping ability. Dominated at lower levels.
Flaws: Sometimes, he goes down a little too quickly, which negates his size advantage. Is still mastering his stick-handling and puck control. Needs to also prove he can be an undisputed go-to guy at the highest level.
Career Potential: Talented goaltender with good upside.


Probable Backup

Keith Kinkaid

Kinkaid is a 6'2", 190 lb. goalie from Farmingville, NY. He played 26 minutes in one game back in March of 2013, and didn't make it back to the NHL until November this season.

Games

W

L

OTL

SV%

GAA

SO

Career

10

1

3

3

0.913

2.53

0

This Season

9

1

3

3

0.913

2.54

0

Last 10 played

10

1

3

3

0.913

2.53

0

vs. Florida

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Assets: Very quick laterally, he mirrors shooters very well. Uses his big frame well to wall off the bottom of the net. Shows good reflexes and will make sprawling saves when out of position.
Flaws: Goes into his butterfly too quickly at times and can get hung out to dry by patient shooters. Too often gets caught out of position. Needs work on his blocker side.
Career Potential: Athletic depth goaltender with a little upside.

Check back later as game time approaches for the GameThread, and always keep LBC bookmarked for your breaking Panthers news.