After the opening day of New Jersey Devils rookie camp in July, coach Peter DeBoer couldn't help but be impressed with the high-caliber defensive prospects on the ice.
"By far, it's the most depth we have at a position in the organization," DeBoer said.
It includes Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Alexander Urbom, each of whom has a pretty good shot at earning some type of role with New Jersey this season.
"I was excited by a couple of them," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "It's going to be very interesting. I will be shocked if there's not a young defenseman, at least one, in the lineup. But I've been shocked before. [That] would really force moves. It's happened in the past, but they have to be ready to play, and that's when you find out."
Lamoriello's trade of veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder on July 7 all but assured DeBoer that at least one of the top young prospects in the system will be playing a significant role.