The New Jersey Devils are in a good spot with their prospects. There are some really good ones at the top of the organization, and many people see them as one of the best prospect teams in the National Hockey League. The fact that they are good at the NHL level too is a good sign.
Their top two prospects right now are both defensemen that they drafted in the top five. In 2021 they drafted Luke Hughes fourth overall, and in 2022, they drafted Simon Nemec second overall. They are both really good and should be impact players at the NHL level.
Both of them also happen to be the captain of their countries at the 2022-23 World Junior Championships. Hughes is the captain of Team USA, and Nemec is the captain of Team Slovakia. Just making it on those teams is a great accomplishment, let alone being the captain.
How often do an NHL team’s top two prospects captain against each other in the World Juniors? That happened on Wednesday. Team USA obviously is the favorite in a game against Slovakia but anything can happen in a hockey game.
Slovakia ended up getting the big win over Team USA by a final score of 6-3. Luke Hughes, unlike their opening game, didn’t score a goal or have an assist which was a major reason for the loss. He certainly didn’t have the best game of his career.
The New Jersey Devils have some really good prospects to be excited about.
Simon Nemec, on the other hand, did have a great game for Slovakia. He was outstanding in every way, but he had three assists. His second assist came on a goal where he gave his full effort towards getting the puck out of the zone and then into the hands of Filip Mesar, who did not miss.
For team Slovakia to succeed, they need Nemec to play like that. If he doesn’t, they aren’t talented enough to win on a regular basis. However, they can beat most teams in this tournament when he is that good.
The United States doesn’t have the forward firepower that we are used to, and we saw that in this game. If Luke Hughs and some of the other defensemen aren’t taking over offensively (as they did in their opening win), they aren’t that good.
Now, Team USA has its back against the wall, which is something that we didn’t want to see for them. They currently sit at 1-0-0-1 with three standings points, but Slovakia now has the tiebreaker. Switzerland and Finland have four standings points ahead of both of them.
Nemec’s next game will come on Friday when Slovakia takes on Latvia. Hughes’ next game will come on Thursday when the US takes on Switzerland. Both of these players are amazing, but Nemec won this round.
Source: Puck Sand Pitch Forks