Thomas Pihlman may not be ready to play in the NHL right now, but the Finnish left winger has left no doubt in this preseason that he figures prominently in the Devils' future plans.
Still, with four preseason games remaining before the Devils must pare their roster to 23, Pihlman hasn't given up hope of making the team.
"Yes, that's my goal," said the team's third pick (48th overall) in the 2001 entry draft. "I'm not just hanging around. I'll try my best and see later what is going to happen. No pressure."
Pihlman, who has played in all five preseason games, including the 4-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers last night at Continental Airlines Arena, survived a roster paring yesterday as the Devils assigned 20 players to Albany (AHL). Among those forwards still with the Devils are Pihlman, Christian Berglund, Adrian Foster, Ilkka Pikkarainen, Rob Skrlac and Aleksander Suglobov.
In the trenton game and last nights game I saw Pihlman being more physical then Suglobov but Suglubov is the more flashy of the two. If either of these two do stay with the NHL club it will be interesting seeing them mature.
I take it Skrlac is the answer to a gaping fighter hole in the Devils roster?