Three New Jersey Devils to watch at the 2023 Prospects Challenge
From Graeme Clarke to Daniil Misyul, there are several players worth keeping a close eye on.
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The New Jersey Devils (prospects) will be hitting the ice three times at this weekend’s 2023 Prospects Challenge, playing their first of three games at noon against the Ottawa Senators.
They will also square off against the Buffalo Sabres (7:00 p.m. Saturday) and Boston Bruins (10:00 a.m. Sunday) over the next couple of days.
New Jersey will be bringing the following 24 players to this year’s tournament:
Forwards: Cole Brown (UDC), Graeme Clarke (Signed), Filip Engras (AHL), Josh Filmon (Signed), TJ Friedman (AHL), Brian Halonen (Signed), Michael Horth (T.O.), Timur Ibragimov (AHL), Jace Isley (T.O.), Erik Middendorf (AHL), Xavier Parent (UDC), Cam Squires (UDC) and Chase Stillman (Signed)
Defensemen: Colin Felix (AHL), Santeri Hatakka (Signed), Luke Hughes (Signed), Will MacKinnon (AHL), Daniil Misyul (Signed), Simon Nemec (Signed), Oscar Plandowski (T.O.) and Topias Vilen (Signed)
Goaltenders:Tyler Brennan (Signed), Riley Mercer (T.O.), Isaac Poulter (AHL)
There are no shortage of notable prospects to watch, and interesting storylines to follow, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the following four players in particular:
Clarke is somewhat of a long shot to make the Devils out of camp. Don’t get me wrong, he will be given an opportunity. The margin for error is simply smaller than some of the guys he’s competing with.
The organization quite likes Nolan Foote and he is no longer waivers exempt, meaning the Devils would have to expose him in order to try and send him back to Utica. They’re not going to do that unless Clarke leaves no doubt he is the far superior choice.
While Alex Holtz can go back to Utica without waivers, he is the highest ceiling forward prospect in the organization. Ideally, he is ready to take the next step and grab the lone vacant spot inside the top-9.
Foote and Holtz hardly have death grips on spots but I think it is fair to say they are at least lightly penciled in.
Clarke needs a very strong camp to unseat one of those guys – or a more established depth player like Curtis Lazar – and it starts this weekend.
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