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Blandisi Down, Zacha Unsure? - This Is Sports Zone

The New Jersey Devils have had a solid training camp, giving fans and coaches alike the chance to see what they have in their younger players, on top of what they have in some of their veteran signings. The most interesting case for the Devils would go to 21-year old, Joseph Blandisi, a former sixth round pick of the Colorado Avalanche. Blandisi had an impressive training camp, notching some beautiful goals and adding a few assists as well, proving that he had the offensive upside that the Devils thought he did when they signed him as a free agent. Even with his eye-popping performance, the Devils had decided at the outset of training camp that he would benefit from some time with their AHL club, the Albany Devils. Had he made the roster, he would have taken the jump right from the OHL, where he put up 112 points, including 52 goals and 60 assists. However, that was the highest point total he has ever produced, making the jump of 81 points from the 31 he put up in 2011-2012 with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. The promising thing with Blandisi is that in the season in which he put up those 31 points, he played the SAME amount of games as his did this past season, where he put up 112. The one thing that is certain is that he has continued to improve over his OHL career, and he is definitely a talent that the Devils will keep an eye on. The belief is that Blandisi will play a solid amount of games in the AHL before ultimately making his NHL debut at some point in this upcoming season.

Pavel Zacha is another curious case for the Devils. He will have the opportunity to debut with the Devils this season if they decide to do so, as one of the clauses written into NHL entry contracts is that a team with a young player like Zacha can have him play in nine NHL games before it counts as a full year of service to the NHL. Physically, Zacha is ready to play in the pros as he possesses good body size, and good skating ability. Last year, Zacha suffered an injury which led to him missing action for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. New Jersey has openly stated that they are not sure what they plan to do with their 2015 first round pick yet, but the feeling is that if he was to go back to Sarnia, he would be getting top line minutes, in a scoring role so that he could more intensely define his skills as a finisher with the puck. The Devils need scoring but there is no reason to rush along a player like Zacha, and they should let him continue his OHL career and his development as a player in general. Zacha and Blandisi have been the most interesting players to watch in Devils training camp, but they both still need some refinement. One thing that’s for sure, is that the future looks a little brighter for New Jersey.

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