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Notes on the state of the New Jersey Devils' forward core & Micheal Ferland

July 11, 2019, 12:25 PM ET [31 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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1) There's been a lot of speculation the New Jersey Devils want to add more to the team this summer. And they very well might.

They are still very flexible financially and the acquisition of P.K. Subban certainly indicates they want to become relevant again sooner than later. That needs to be the case if Taylor Hall is going to re-sign, though that's a story for another day.

With all that said, I don't think it's a lock the Devils add another notable piece prior to October. They aren't in a position where they *need* to, especially up front.

Given their plan, for better or for worse, is to at least start with Wayne Simmonds as a top-6 right winger, the team's depth chart up front currently looks something like this:

Hall - Nico - Palmieri
Bratt - Hughes - Simmonds
Boqvist - Zajac - Coleman
Wood - Zacha - Bastian/Hayden

Bubble: Anderson, McLeod, Rooney, etc.

I realize you want Boqvist playing an offensive role, rather than on a shutdown line, but go with the flow for now.

If he's ready for top-9 minutes, there aren't really any holes. I think Simmonds would be the only guy playing above where he should be at even-strength, and it's not far-fetched to think Jack Hughes could prop him up.

Could that group be upgraded upon? Sure, but there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen as is. I don't think there is a glaring need for more, and I'm not sure I see anyone being brought in without a body being shipped out.

I know everyone wants to see adds upon adds, and the Devils go shot-for-shot with the extremely active New York Rangers, but I wouldn't be shocked if their forward group looks a lot like this come October.

That's not to say they won't make another move, or that they shouldn't (I'd love Nikita Gusev!). I just wouldn't be constantly refreshing Twitter waiting for one to happen.

2) I was asked a lot about Micheal Ferland as a potential target in free agency. He is fairly productive (40+ points in consecutive years), he can compliment stars, he can play both wings (left-handed shot, but played right wing opposite side Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary), and he brings a ton of bite to the table – something the Devils previously didn't have a lot of.

While Ferland seemed like a solid fit on the surface, and actually signed at a reasonable price, I'm led to believe the Devils weren't at all in the mix for Ferland. I'm not even sure they made a feeling-out call. Just thought that was worth mentioning.

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