Hockey

New Jersey Devils Prospects Not Named Luke Hughes To Be Excited For 2022-23

|
Image for New Jersey Devils Prospects Not Named Luke Hughes To Be Excited For 2022-23

Samu Salminen Center

The Finnish center out of Finland has posted a Draft Plus 1 of 18 scoring him a Rickard Rakell as a star player probability. On the full comparables, he is projected to be like a Ryan Donato top player. Samu Salminen is a 6’3″ 190lb centerman that not only can win timely faceoffs, but he can also create puck movement.

The kind of player he is one who can utilize his size, and power his way up from the neutral zone to offensive zone entries. On the power play after he wins faceoffs he goes towards the crease and the slot depending on the puck breakout. He’s a very unselfish forward who does the small detail setting up a play and getting involved in creating high danger scoring.

Development in Finland en Route to NCAA D-1

Salminen in his recent 2021-22 U-20 SM-Sarja Samu has nearly doubled his points production as a captain for the Jokerit affiliate after being promoted from an alternate captain. This season he has 42 points in 37 games played with 18 goals.

In the upcoming college hockey season, Devils fans will have another college hockey player to salivate over when Michigan University and Luke Hughes plays against the University of Denver. If there is a more realistic comparable I have noticed is the size and build is Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko.

The University of Denver will help improve Samu’s overall game both in a 200-foot game, and a much faster-paced game that plays with more grit and defensive style of hockey.

Reilly Walsh RHD

The North Falmouth, Massachusetts native has a comparable to P.K. Subban on the New Jersey Devils and Alex Pietrangelo from a Draft plus 2 and 3rd seasons. Walsh is known for shooting the puck more on the net but also gets a lot of assists due to his quick and heavy shots.

Walsh has been one of the keys to a very successful Utica Comets offensive prowess. With P.K. Subban’s contract coming off the books and Jack Hughes’ 8 million dollars per season contract kicking in, Walsh’s contract will be very easy to control under GM, Tom Fitzgerald.

Reilly Walsh is on pace for a 50 point season in over 70 plus games and will be a player Devils fans should be more than excited to see jumping into the Devils lineup. Walsh is very likely to join that right-handed defence core that will help get anchored by prospects like Kevin Bahl to add size, grit, and defensive awareness.

Kevin Bahl LHD

The sasquatch-sized defenseman is an absolute frightening defenseman for a lot of teams to get around, quite literally. Kevin Bahl stands at 6’6″ 234lb his comparable is Ryan McDonagh at the NHL level but given the size and body mass index he’s a fair comparison to Zdeno Chara. Bahl also can skate well for a man his size but utilizes that shot and reach like Chara.

This hulking mammoth brings a +21 as it has shown he doesn’t allow many goals when he’s on the ice and is out there on a mission to prevent goals and create points. One of many reasons Devils fans should begin to love this player is the fact he can play a physical game with minimal effort. As seen in the above youtube video you will see Bahl waits along the opposing blue line while guys like DeLeo, Holtz, and Nikita Okhotiuk connect on the offensive.

He’s the kind of guy when he ends up making the Devils is that he will put not only fans in their seats but also brings energy, and excitement. Goalies will have no problem getting a breather with him being on high alert and stealing prime-time high danger goal scoring from opponents.

Conclusion

If everything goes according to plan and Tom Fitzgerald keeps and graduates these players in time for next season for the 2022-23 campaign with some big additions in the net the team should be a lot healthier. Given the fact that it is less likely the NHL goes into a new normal and covid19 testing is far less and the Devils are able to string in healthy goaltending you can see the team gel around their up and coming prospects.

main image credits

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Former writer for Pucks and Pitchforks and The Puck Authority. I cover New Jersey Devils hockey and NHL Draft prospects. I have a podcast called Heads Up Hockey on Anchor.fm Also I write for Full Press Hockey.