Home > Analysis, NHL Draft > Evaluating The Devils’ Organizational Depth: Trenton Devils Forwards

Evaluating The Devils’ Organizational Depth: Trenton Devils Forwards

Ginand led all Trenton Devils skates with 75 points. Photo Credit: Trenton Devils website

The New Jersey Devils forward strength seems focused on one position: left wing. On the NHL roster, the position runs three deep, with Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and converted center Patrik Elias. Rookies like Mattias Tedenby will only strengthen that position in the future.

Even the center position features some depth. Travis Zajac anchors the first line, and rookies such as Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson may become lineup fixtures in the future.

The one position where the team lacks depth is right wing. David Clarkson represents the team’s only veteran right-winger, and his offensive potential is limited. Nick Palmieri showed a ton of promise this year, but his offensive success was helped by playing on the first line.

While Albany does a fantastic job of breaking down the forwards by position, the Trenton Devils do not. Since all the forwards are clumped together on the website, this will be a review of all the forwards. Some seem good enough to take the leap, and others seem destined to be ECHL-lifers.

And here we go:

Ryan Ginand – 68 GP, 75 points (29 G, 46 A), plus-1 rating

Ginand was one of the few standouts on the Trenton Devils this season. He was the team’s lone All-Star representative, leading them in every offensive category. He also fired 402 shots on net, the second most in ECHL history. Ginand enjoyed a brief callup to Albany this season, and should find a permanent spot on their roster next year. His offensive skill seems promising, and he could be a can’t miss prospect for the organization.

Ryan Hayes – 63 games, 50 points (23 G, 27 A), 0 rating

Hayes is right behind Ginand in terms of offensive potential. In his first professional season, the forward recorded 50 points, good for second on the team. His transition from the Plymouth Whalers of the CHL (where he played with Tyler Seguin) went better than expected. He’s also big into humanitarian work, which is a plus for any professional athlete. Hopefully he’ll play in the Devils prospect camp this summer so we can get an extended look at him.

Jeff Prough – 48 games, 42 points (25 G, 17 A), minus-13 rating

Prough suffered through some minor injuries this season, playing just 48 games. He still produced 0.88 points per game, which is pretty solid. He’s been with the Trenton Devils for three seasons, so he’s reaching the limits of potential flameout. He twice recorded 30 goals and 60 points, so he’s shown he can produce. Hopefully he gets a shot to move up the organization’s ladder next season.

Matt Lombardi – 66 GP, 33 points (20 G, 13 A), minus-10 rating

Like Hayes, Lombardi made his Trenton debut this season, playing in 66 games. There was no shortage of offense on this team, and Lombardi was the fourth forward to record at least 20 goals. He came from Boston College, working his way from walk-on to assistant captain of two national champions. It was a solid debut season.

 

Kell served as assistant captain in Trenton this season. Photo Credit: Mike Ashmore

Trevor Kell – 37 GP, 33 points (14 G, 19 A), plus-9 rating

Kell, a pick of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, seems to be stuck in the minors. He consistently puts up solid numbers in the ECHL, and served as Trenton’s captain this season. But the right-winger can’t produce at the AHL level. He skated in 21 games, recording just three points. He’s been on the Trenton Devils for four seasons, and it’s getting late for him to make an impact at the NHL level.

Dan Charleston – 32 GP, 33 points (12 G, 21 A), minus-12 rating

Charleston was a point-per-game producer for the Trenton Devils, and scored four goals in a game. But those offensive achievements are outweighed by one negative event. The ECHL suspended Charleston 12 games for shooting the puck over the glass after a game. That puck apparently struck a woman, which made any suspension easier to give. In the past two seasons, he’s become a point-per-game producer. He’s been on a shuttle between Albany and Trenton, so we’ll see if he finds a consistent team next season.

J.S. Berube – 44 GP, 30 points (12 G, 18 A), minus-5 rating

Berube, a 2008 draft pick, entered his first professional season looking to quickly move through the organization. He earned a promotion while in Trenton, recording 30 points on the season. He wouldn’t find success at the AHL level, recording just two points in 17 games. He still has plenty of time to develop, and the organization has high hopes for him. Expect to see him again split time between Trenton and Albany next season.

Tony Zancanaro – 61 GP, 25 points (10 G, 15 A), minus-17 rating

Zancanaro took a major step backward during the 2010-2011 season. Fresh off a career year last year, when he netted 48 points in 71 games, Zancanaro saw his numbers drop dramatically this season. His minus-17 is pretty bad, but can be explained by Trenton’s struggles as a team this season. The inconsistency isn’t something new for Zancanaro. He’s played with Trenton for five years and never posted consistent numbers. Time is ticking for him, as he’s stuck in the system.

Darcy Zajac – 32 GP, 23 points (6 G, 17 A), plus-8 rating

The only thing Darcy shares with his older brother Travis is their name. Darcy’s 23 points were great production, but don’t expect that to continue as he moves up the organization. Unlike Travis, Darcy is a checking forward, probably a third or fourth line guy. He played with both Trenton and Albany in his first year as a pro. He may not earn a promotion to the Albany Devils next season, as other, more talented players may get their shot. But if he continues to play well, he may earn yet another callup.

Kory Nagy – 57 GP, 22 points (9 G, 13 A), minus-9 rating

Nagy fits the mold of a John Madden-type player. He’s a responsible defensive center, perfectly molded for a third or fourth line role. The problem is his limited upside. Nagy has already reached his ceiling, and won’t improve too much from here. After splitting equal amounts of time between Trenton and Albany, he only earned a 13 game callup. He’ll need to work harder to remain relevant in the organization.

Matt Vokes – 24 GP, 20 points (7 G, 13 A), minus-7 rating

Matt Vokes took a major step backward this season after a great rookie campaign. He skated in just 24 games this season and watched his point total tumble to 20 points. It’s a disappointing sophomore slump for a player who showed so much promise. He’s a soon-to-be 26-year old ECHL player, so time is definitely not on his side.

Taylor Vichorek – 68 GP, 15 points (4 G, 11 A), plus-8 rating

Vichorek made his pro debut with Trenton during the 2010-11 season, dressing for 68 games. Never a scorer in his amateur career, he gave the team quality minutes. His 95 penalty minutes fall right in line with his past performances. Expect him to get more minutes with Trenton next season.

Myles Stoesz – 37 GP, 4 points (1 G, 3 A), minus-8 rating

Stoez was the Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond of the Trenton Devils. His 165 penalty minutes were easily the highest on the team. He doesn’t bring much to the ice other than a physical presence. I’d be surprised to see if he advances anywhere past Trenton.

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