Predicting Protected Lists: New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils have a long road ahead before they are ready to compete again. They have a solid core of Cory Schneider, Taylor Hall, and Adam Henrique, but the pieces just are not there yet. Losing someone significant in the expansion draft will not be of worry for Ray Shero.
Up front, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri, and Travis Zajac will absolutely be protected. These four were New Jersey’s best forwards last season and, barring a major trade, will be again next season.
After that, there are no clear choices for players to protect.
Beau Bennett and Stefan Noesen are two guys that may be worth protecting. Neither are ideal, but the Devils really do not have many other options up front.
The same situation can be said for Mike Cammalleri. Not a good pick for protection, but it is not like the Devils are keeping him over a better player. They have nothing to lose by doing it.
You could also argue for Devante Smith-Pelley to be protected over any of the previous three players mentioned
On defense, they at least have a few good pieces to protect. It will likely be Andy Greene, John Moore, and Damon Severson.
In goal, Cory Schneider is a no-brainer.
The New Jersey Devils potential protection list:
Forwards: Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, Beau Bennett, Stefan Noesen, Mike Cammalleri
Defense: Andy Greene, John Moore, Damon Severson
Goalie: Cory Schneider
On the bright side for the Devils, in a couple of weeks they will have either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier as a part of their organization. There is also a strong possibility that they can string together a trade or two to fill up protection spots.
Next team: New York Islanders