Prospect Ramblings – Rivalry Renewed: New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers

Pat Quinn




Welcome to the Thursday Ramblings, I have decided this week to go over the current state of the Devils and the Rangers; the teams’ drafts, off season, outlook for 2019-2020, and rookie impacts. As a life long Devils fans I feel I must compare the two enemy franchises and what I think this season holds. Let me just add that I never hated the Rangers; I grew up in Canada so I just disliked the other neighbouring Canadian franchises.


I will also try to come at this from a neutral point of view (as best as I can); since the reason I do not write for the Devils on DobberProspects is that I would likely overhype the prospects on the team. Kind of like being a doctor and knowing the patient…. except a life is not on the line.


Some may ask “Why are you not including the Islanders?” … Did you watch the teams off season? Lou is not helping that team (I am still upset at how far he put the Devils back in his final couple of seasons), but Trotz will still make them a playoff bubble team. Count me as one of the few people who think Varlamov will do equal or better than Lehner as well.


Before starting, have you checked in to the DobberProspects 31-in31 July team write-ups: 


Also buy the DobberProspect Fantasy Guide:



2019 Draft


You can see my grades on what I thought these teams did at the draft in my ramblings last week:


Both teams got the two best players of the draft, but if you take those top picks out then the Devils had five picks in the top 100 to the Rangers’ three. The Devils also had 10 overall to seven overall picks for the Rangers (taking out picks #1 and #2 of course)



  • I did not care much for the Nikita Okhotyuk pick at #61 for the Devils, but I felt they cleaned up in round three with Graeme Clarke and Daniil Misyul.  While Michael Vukojevic and Tyce Thompson were fine picks at #82 and #96.
  • I really like the late sixth round pick of Patrick Moynihan (#158) for the Devils. He may be able to play in the NHL down the line



  • Karl Henriksson was a great pick at #58 for the Rangers and could produce tremendous value. Matthew Robertson (#49) and Zac Jones (#68) in the top 100 were a little too high for me
  • Leevi Aaltonen at #130 and Hunter Skinner at #112 could become NHLers, so those were good value picks


Winning team: New Jersey Devils

  • More picks plus better value of the picks by New Jersey equal a winning formula



2019 Off Season


I think the winner is pretty cut and dry here but let us go over what each did, and if there are positives or negatives




Added PK Subban for peanuts


  • Added PK Subban, a legit top pairing guy before, but will the back issues keep effecting him


  • Takes PP ice time from Will Butcher
  • Blocks Ty Smith from getting meaningful minutes for a couple seasons, especially PP time


Drafted Jack Hughes


  • Future #1 Center


  • Hynes can limit his minutes, especially on the powerplay
  • Might be stuck with mediocre wingers to start his career (like Zacha has been for a majority of his last two seasons)


Signed Wayne Simmonds


  • Not locked in to term as Simmonds might be done
  • Can help the Powerplay


  • Likely keeps Hischer and Hughes off of #1PP. Yes it is true. Coach Hynes LOVES LOVES LOVES Zajac on the #1PP, Palmieri and Hall are not moving from it, Subban or Butcher will run it, and Hynes LOVES a big body in front of the net which … is that Wayne Simmonds’ music? So that could leave a very effective #2PP with a combo of Hughes/Hischer/Bratt/Zacha/Wood up front and Butcher/Severson/Smith on the back
  • If Simmonds does well he may be resigned to a long-term deal


Traded John Quenneville for John Hayden

  • A Big power winger for a more skilled player. Both are on the bubble. Both could work out for either team but both are likely bubble players forever.


Convinced Jesper Boqvist, Fabian Zetterlund, and Mikhail Maltsev to come to North America

  • Boqvist has a clause where he is either NHL or SHL. I think he makes the NHL team as he does have the skill but he may not be around for the whole season. His future is a utility skilled player that can play all through out the top six
  • Zetterlund and Maltsev are likely destined for the AHL (I have no idea if they have KHL or SHL clauses) which they need as both players top out at bottom six forwards




Signed Panarin


  • Signed Panarin


  • N/A


Drafted Kaapo Kakko


  • Second best player in the draft and a future star
  • Can play both wing or centre


  • Plethora of winger talent in New York, on the right side he will have to battle Buchnievich and Kravtsov for ice time
  • Might not get 1PP time to start the season


Traded peanuts for Adam Fox and then signed him to a three-year ELC


  • Greatly skilled defenseman
  • With the skill up front the points should be there for the taking


  • Still has Shattenkirk ahead of him
  • Head coach David Quinn is a no nonsense coach. If Fox is bad defensively and Shattenkirk is rolling offensively, I can see Fox getting scratched


Traded Pionk and a first (they got in the trade for Hayes with Winnipeg) for Trouba


  • Will help goaltending out


  • Takes ice time away from Adam Fox, Libor Hajek, and K’Andre Miller in the future
  • Might not sign long term, though that chance is very low


Finally had the teams’ top three Russian prospects to come to North America. Top forward Vitali Kravtsov, Top goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin, and future #3-#5 defenseman Yegor Rykov


  • Kravtsov can play wing or centre and is supremely skilled. Will make the NHL roster
  • Shesterkin has agreed that he would/can play in the AHL for 2019-2020 if needed. He is a future #1 goalie, but may have to battle Georgiev for that role in 2020-2021 if Georgiev is not moved
  • Rykov is an excellent two-way defenceman, and has also agreed that he would/can play in the AHL for 2019-2020


  • Possible lack of powerplay time for Kravtsov
  • If Georgiev gets a contract extension for 2020 onwards, and Lundqvist is not moved, then Shesterkin will stay in the AHL for at least two seasons. Would he want that
  • Rykov has an out clause in his contract for 2020-2021 where if he is not in the NHL then he will go back to the KHL, and that could be the end of him in the NHL for at least three years



Winner: New York Rangers

  • The Rangers had the best off season of any NHL squad, and it really is not close



2019-2020 Season Outlook


Line up and Rookie output for 2019-2020




What I view as the optimal roster set up (right now)


















Wood-Zacha (sorry)-Bratt



How I think Hynes will roll it out based on my viewing of him as the Devils head coach

















As long as the Devils do not get hit by injuries (with a Schneider rebound) they can challenge for the playoffs. I still think they are looking to add another top six/nine forward, it is just too bad Chiarelli is no longer the GM in Edmonton


I also think Ty Smith makes the team but I do not know who they would move out as a result. Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastain also have chances to crack the roster


Impact of Rookies 2019-2020 (82 games played):

  • Hughes – His talent will shine through, even with limited minutes, but the Devils will realize that they need his scoring as the season progresses and increase his minutes.
    • Minimum: 46 points
    • Maximum: 77 points
  • Boqvist – Skilled but he does not have the draft pedigree as Zacha, Hischer and Hughes. His skill is needed to fill out the Devils roster if the Devils want to compete, but he may not be 100% ready
    • Minimum: 23 points
    • Maximum: 42 points
  • Smith – A fantastic skater and a future 1PP quarterback, but will start off his Devils career in a limited role
    • Minimum: 15
    • Maximum: 32
  • McLeod – The question is: can his hands catch up to his feet?
    • Minimum: 20 points
    • Maximum: 39 points
  • Bastain – Will be good for hits, PIMs, and chipping in goals
    • Minimum: 12 points
    • Maximum: 34 points




What I view as the optimal roster set up (right now). I will not add in what I think David Quinn will do because I have no idea




Krieder-Kravtsov-Kakko (This line would be amazing)


Namestnikov-Howden-Lemieux/Fast – Extras: McKegg/Nieves















The Rangers really have a few moves to make to simplify the roster, but that top six is absolutely loaded, and somehow I had to put Chytil on line three!!!


A big problem for the Rangers is that Zibanejad is the teams only real top two centre here, and the Rangers are really weak down the middle


Impact of Rookies 2019-2020 (82 games played):

  • Kakko – Will likely look better than Hughes early on as he is much more physically mature. He does have a higher likelihood he can get on to the 1PP on the right-side if Buchnievich falters or is traded
    • Minimum: 53 points
    • Maximum: 80 points
  • Kravtsov – Somehow he is forgotten after Kakko was drafted and that will be a mistake by a lot of poolies. He may slide in drafts but his skills will not
    • Minimum: 40 points
    • Maximum: 68 points
  • Fox – The Rangers future PP QB once Shattenkirk moves on, and as long as the Rangers do not put Trouba in to that role
    • Minimum: 22 points
    • Maximum: 30 points
  • Chytil, Andersson, and Howden all played enough NHL games in 2018-2019, and all should increase their point totals for 2019-2020


Winner: Even

  • While the Rangers have the edge in forwards the devils have the edge in defensemen and are better down the middle, so it is even



2020 Off Season Outlook



The Devils need to sign Hall; that is the biggest problem for the 2020 off season and beyond. The team needs to convince Hall to stay. The Devils do not have any bad contracts but will not want to overspend and screw over the future cap.

The Devils are missing the teams second round pick in 2020 and have an additional fourth in 2020, and a fifth in 2022



The Rangers need to use 2019-2020 to move bodies out, and find a way to get out from under the Marc Staal and Brendan Smith contract anchors. The Rangers need to find a way to get Rykov and Shesterkin on the roster permanently in 2020-2021

The Rangers likely will lose the 2020 second round pick in the Fox trade, but have an additional third and two extra seventh picks. The Rangers also have an extra third in 2021 since Buffalo really wanted Jimmy Vesey



Overall Winner


  • Forward skill: Rangers
  • LW depth: Rangers (until Krieder is moved)
  • C depth: Devils
  • RW depth: Rangers
  • Defense: Devils
  • Goaltending (short term): Devils (as long as Schneider can rebound)
  • Goaltending (long term): Rangers
  • High end prospect: Devils


The winner to me is obviously the Devils because I am a homer. It is incredibly even though the Rangers’ rebuild has gone insanely well and they will likely turn it around first. Especially if Hall is gone in 2020-2021


I cannot forget my #GoodTweet of the week (which has horrendous grammar):

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Nice deal.<br>Also will be cheaper than he should be when it is up as he is not getting 1PP time anytime soon. Also the 5th forward who tends to go on it when a member of 1PP is hurt is Wilson. So he needs a lot to go right <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) <a href=””>July 16, 2019</a></blockquote>{/source}



Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. Follow my twitter: @FHPQuinn







Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Michael Hage 8.5 7.0
Andrew Basha 8.0 7.5
Carter Yakemchuk 8.5 6.5
Alfons Freij 8.5 7.0
Michael Brandsegg-Nygård 8.0 9.0
Berkly Catton 9.0 7.0
Cayden Lindstrom 9.0 9.0
Ivan Demidov 9.5 8.5
Alexander Zetterberg 6.5 3.0
Daniel Nieminen 5.0 5.5