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2005-06 Finish: 46-27-9, 3rd East
General Manager: Lou Lamoriello (19th Season)
Head Coach: Claude Julien (1st Season)
2005-06 Goals For: 242
2005-06 Goals Against: 229
2005-06 Power Play: 17.7% (20th)
2005-06 Penalty Killing: 81.9% (16th)
Points Leader: Brian Gionta (89)
Goals Leader: Brian Gionta (48)
Assists Leader: Scott Gomez (51)

Offseason Moves: Signed centre Michael Rupp, who had been with the Columbus Blue Jackets, to a one-year contract; signed defenceman Mike Mottau, who had been with the St. Louis Blues.

Goaltending: Martin Brodeur signed the last contract of his stellar career last winter with a $31.2-million US, six-year extension. With three Stanley Cups, two Vezina Trophies and 446 career wins, there is no debate over who's No. 1 in The Swamp. Any hockey fan will tell you he's the Devils' franchise player. Scott Clemmenson will likely get 10 to 15 games as backup, while North Dakota goalie Jordan Parise is expected to start next season with New Jersey's AHL affiliate in Lowell. North Dakota's all-time leader in goals-against average and save percentage could be the team's future in goal.

Defence: The Devils' blueline managed well in its first season without Scott Niedermayer. Brian Rafalski got more ice time and led the defence in scoring with 49 points, while Paul Martin and Colin White emerged as solid defenders in their own zone. Brad Lukowich, Richard Matvichuk and David Hale are dependable as smart, stay-at-home skaters. There's not a lot of flash and superstar talent here, but the blueline corps should play under a good defensive system with new head coach Claude Julien and get the job done.

Forwards: The Devils have never had a 50-goal scorer in franchise history, but Brian Gionta (48 goals) came pretty close in his breakout season. The small-framed winger benefited greatly from the new rules, using his speed and energetic play to set career highs in goals and points. Scott Gomez also set career highs on the scoreboard, while Patrik Elias averaged more than a point a game playing less than half the season. Once considered a strict defensive team, the Devils have become an electrifying squad up front, featuring speed, perfect passes and a nose for the net. That doesn't mean they've forgotten how to play defence either, as John Madden and Jay Pandolfo play both ends of the ice well and can effectively shut down a team's top line. The Achilles heel for the offence may be secondary scoring. Aside from Gionta and Gomez, only Jamie Langenbrunner scored more than 50 points for the team last year.

Welcome to the NHL: For all the speed and scoring the Devils boast from their tough line, they could stand to add a bit more size and toughness. Winger Barry Tallackson could be the solution, with excellent size and goal-scoring potential. At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, he can also be very effective in the corners and play the body. Another possibility is North Dakota forward Travis Zajac, who socred 17 goals and 44 points in 45 WCHA games last season.
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