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Devils reloading with defensive prospects

If you're the kind of person who hates the New Jersey Devils, don't read this because it's really going to depress you.

For those who think the perennial Atlantic Division powerhouse has declined a bit, an impressive array of talent is moving through the pipeline. The Devils were built around a strong defensive system that included strong defensemen with varied skills. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the Devils' farm system is an array of talented defensemen, but don't overlook Jeff Frazee, one of the top college goalies plying his trade with the University of Minnesota.

The Devils also have a deep cast of right wings, a couple or three of whom are expected to suit up in Newark this season. Center Rod Pelley showed good skills in a late-season debut last season, as did right winger David Clarkson. Nicklas Bergfors may need another year in the AHL, but he has the skills that made him a first-round draft pick. Barry Tallackson has played parts of two seasons with the Devils. This could be the year that he blows them away with a top-level, consistent training camp.

Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and Scouting Director Dave Conte was upbeat in discussing the players being developed in the New Jersey Devils' system. Conte always seems to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the draft, seeing something in a player that others don't. Like defenseman Kirill Tulupov, taken with the 67th pick of the 2006 Entry Draft who is moving toward the role Ken Daneyko used to fill.

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