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Devils’ 2011 first-rounder Larsson knows pressure is on this year

Sep 14, 2013, 4:07 PM EDT

Adam Larsson Getty Images

Adam Larsson‘s time in the NHL since being taken fourth overall by the New Jersey Devils in 2011 has seen more downs than ups and he’s hoping to change that this season.

The 20-year-old Swedish blue liner tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice he knows he has a lot to prove this year.

“I knew it would take a couple of years to really adjust and get used to the game,” Larsson said. “This is an important year for me, so I have to step up and show the coaches and show the organization that I earned a spot in 82 games this year.”

Larsson’s battle for a spot is a healthy mix of veterans and fellow youngsters hungry to prove themselves.

Established guys like Anton Volchenkov, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Mark Fayne, Marek Zidlicky, and Peter Harrold will all vie for playing time while young guys like Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, and Alex Urbom will be there to push as well.

If Larsson isn’t sharp, he could wind up back in the press box or the minors. Put up or shut up time? Sure seems like it.

  1. esracerx46 - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Kid was rushed. He had no business being over here as quick as he was. Another recent gaff by the coaching staff and management of the Devils organization. Lou is losing it.

  2. somekat - Sep 14, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    As a Flyers fan, I was hoping this guy would slide to 8 that year. Happy he didn’t and they put up Couts, but I think he should of got a year in the AHL (or another year in Euro if his age didn’t allow it, but preferably something with NA style) before they brought him over. Not sure what the rush was to get him to the NHL, it’s not like he was the missing piece to make them a cup contender.
    At this point, I think he’s be better off on the 3rd pair getting limited minutes than a year in the AHL, but he still has talent, and the Devils could regret it for years if they give up on him, or don’t resign him after his rookie deal runs out if someone else throws some cash at him.

  3. mizzike20 - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    NJ’s D is quite possibly the most unique in the League – they boast 7 players with decent to significant NHL experience, but NONE of them would be among any team’s top 3. At this point in time, the only serviceable guys I see on D currently on their NHL roster would be Greene, Harrold, and Zidlicky, and that’s stretching it. For the last three seasons I’ve seen just about every Devil defensemen shy away from contact in front of their own net or in their own zone, and they’ve paid the price for it in lost games.
    That being said, I’d love to see Merrill and Larsson see significant time. Merrill looks to be the only defensemen they have that will engage physical activity. Larsson, for all of his faults, can still move the puck. Package that with Greene, Zidlicky, and Harrold and at least you have the ability to get the puck out of your own end. The rest of them do absolutely nothing for me. So bearing that, just let the kids play.

  4. 950003cups - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Larsson is a future HOFer.
    End of conversation!

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