1. Will Adam Larsson play in the NHL this season?
|Kovalchuk finished hot last season and hopes to get off to a quick start in 2011-12. GETTY IMAGES |
Aside from Gabriel Landeskog, Larsson was widely considered the most NHL-ready prospect among the top five picks of the 2011 Entry Draft. The swift-skating Swedish defenseman surely wants to play in the NHL this year. But if the Devils think he needs some time in the minors, Larsson said he'd be fine playing for the team's American Hockey League affiliate (Albany) next season. 2. What coaching style will Peter DeBoer bring to New Jersey?
DeBoer said he is committed to honoring the tradition of the Devils: That means putting an emphasis on defense. At the same, the new coach will push his team to score, especially with superstars Ilya Kovalchuk
and Zach Parise
in the lineup. No matter what, expect DoBoer to put out a hard-working team night in and night out -- something he was praised for during his time in Florida. 3. Will Ilya Kovalchuk be able to get off to a fast start?
The Devils sure hope so. Last season, the Russian sniper tallied only 4 goals in New Jersey's first 23 games. He rebounded from his slow start and finished the year with 31 goals. But as the Devils transition with a new coach for 2011-12, they're going to need to depend on their superstar forward -- especially early in the season. Emily Kaplan, NHL.com