New Jersey Devils starting to reap benefits of loaded minor-league system
While the New Jersey Devils are having a roller coaster season, their minor league affiliate, the Albany Devils, are the surprise team of the AHL. Part of the reason is the play from their rookie class, featuring some of the franchises top prospects, including Jon Merrill, Reid Boucher, and Stefan Matteau.
While Albany still relies on their defense, their balanced team-scoring has given them a boost. The meager special teams have now become an asset as well. Even with all of the recent departures and injuries, the Devils farm team has shown adversity and found ways to win to remain one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference.… read more
It has been an interesting year for the Devils first-round pick from the 2012 NHL Draft. October saw Matteau struggle to register significant playing time due to his overly aggressive style getting him into bad situations. Slowly throughout the season however, his penalty minutes have dwindled and he has started to create offense.
Part of Matteau's turnaround has come by taking advantage of his promotion to the top six due to injuries and call-ups. When Boucher was called up, he joined Joe Whitney along with Elmira call-up Artem Demkov. The trio has found chemistry, bringing size, speed, and skill when they step on the ice. On the season, Matteau has six goals, seven assists, and 33 penalty minutes through 25 games.
Matteau was named to Team USA's preliminary roster for the 2014 World Junior Championship in Sweden.
Nice to hear that he's dialing the Cam-Janssen-Knucklehead-Meter down a bit. Even at 19, he's better than any current 4th liner not named Carter/Bernier, IMO. (YaYo/Tedenby don't count since they hardly play....Thanks, Pete)