2014 Outlook: After over a year of trade rumors encircling Roberto Luongo, it was Schneider who was traded this offseason, landing in New Jersey as the heir apparent to the legendary Martin Brodeur. The Devils haven't announced a specific plan on how they'll dole out the starts between the two men -- they aren't required by law to do so, after all -- but one imagines that Schneider will get the favorable side of this timeshare. Long renowned as a shutdown defensive team, the Devils have also had some spark offensively under the guidance of Pete DeBoer, though the loss of Ilya Kovalchuk is devastating. Nevertheless, given Schneider's talent, he can be the guy to pick up a lot of one-goal victories. He's worthy of serving as a No. 1 in fantasy.
2014 Outlook: It certainly doesn't bode well when one of the two other members of your team that was an everyday fantasy asset on offense last season (Ilya Kovalchuk) leaves the team unexpectedly to return to Russia, and that the other (David Clarkson) signed elsewhere in free agency. But New Jersey brought in some fresh blood this offseason, and have some players hoping to return to form, which should mean a decent supporting cast for career Devil Elias after all. Elias himself is the model of consistency for an older player in the NHL, and has shown no signs of slowing down as he passed his 37th birthday in 2013. Go ahead and put ink to paper for Elias to contribute 25 goals and 45 assists in 2013-14. Playing with some mix of Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe will allow Elias to produce the points we have come to expect.
2014 Outlook: Michael Ryder has looked like his old, 30-goal-scoring self for the past two seasons as he bounced around the NHL. After leaving the Bruins ahead of the 2011-12 campaign, Ryder quickly returned to the high-shooting, high-scoring winger that he had developed into early in his career. Whether that trend continues now with the Devils is another question entirely. The Devils have almost a clean slate on offense this season, with Ryder one of three new recruits that could line up in the top six. He will vie with Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe and others for a spot on the top line and top power-play unit. Really, the power play is the real key to Ryder's value. Because it is not guaranteed he will be on the top unit (or that the unit will be very good), he should come at a discount on draft day.
2014 Outlook: Jagr has shown that we can't count on him for a full season at the age of 41. But he has also shown that he can still be an asset to fantasy owners. Jagr's arrival in New Jersey would be admittedly more exciting if Ilya Kovalchuk hadn't called it quits on the Devils, but the team still boasts enough talent for Jagr to find a niche and score. Between Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique, Michael Ryder and Travis Zajac, the Devils have enough offensive weapons to have a strong scoring line or two. Jagr is a clear candidate for the top line when healthy, because his stick is still just as wily as it was 20 seasons ago. But because he isn't a point-per-game player anymore, and because we can't be sure he'll play close to 82 games, Jagr should absolutely be a later pick among your forward ranks.
2014 Outlook: When you draft Ryane Clowe this season, you'll be ignoring last year's numbers. Somehow Clowe managed to score zero goals in 28 games with the Sharks before he was dealt to the Rangers. He managed to pot three tallies with the Blueshirts in the final 12 games, so he didn't finish the season empty handed, but it was still a poor overall effort. Used in the right situation, Clowe is a 20-goal, power-play specialist with triple-digit penalty minutes. The Devils will need players to reach their potential this season and have a tendency to draw the best out of veterans. Clowe has a good shot at playing top-six minutes with the Devils and has upside to reward fantasy owners that take a shot on him. So long as he lasts late in drafts, Clowe has more potential than a lot of other unproven assets that will be available. Give him a shot.
2014 Outlook: While Andy Greene and Adam Larsson hold varying degrees of promise, the only sure-fire fantasy bet on the New Jersey Devils' blue line is Zidlicky. Re-signed to a one-year, $3-million deal, the 36-year-old veteran is rooted as anchor on a top power-play unit including some combination of Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Michael Ryder, Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe and Adam Henrique. Zidlicky won't put up the flashiest numbers overall, but most of his production will come with the extra skater.
2014 Outlook: The historic career of Martin Brodeur may finally be reaching its end after the 2013-14 campaign, and unlike some teams who did not plan well for the eventual exit of their franchise icon, the Devils secured themselves an heir apparent in Cory Schneider this offseason. Now, the question is how much of No. 30 we'll actually be seeing in what could be his swansong in the NHL. The Devils have kept their lips sealed on this one, but one would imagine that the split will lean in favor of Schneider. The positive spin on this is that Brodeur will be fresher on the nights that he does get the nod, so he has some value as a rotational option, with No. 2 upside.