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With Travis Zajac going down with an Achilles injury before last season, Jacob Josefson dealing with two separate injuries and Zach Parise recovering from knee surgery, the Devils relied on young prospects and extra offensive depth to get them through the season.
Now, with three offensive threats gone and prospects like Adam Henrique now full-time starters, there are many questions about who will answer the call if someone goes down with injury.
Only five Devils played in all 82 games last season, two of whom are no longer on the team (Parise and Sykora). Dainius Zubrus was the only other forward to play in every game, and the other two players were defensemen Bryce Salvador and Mark Fayne.
David Clarkson and Patrik Elias both played at least 80 games, and Ilya Kovalchuk appeared in 77, but then the list begins to fall off. After Adam Henrique, who played in 74 games, no other starter appeared in more than 65 games.
Mid-season acquisitions and call-ups like Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier and Stephen Gionta became heroes in the postseason, but none has ever played a full 82-game season. Bernier appeared in 81 games with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2008-2009 season. Carter had a career high in games last season with 65, and Gionta has just one regular-season game under his belt.
Injuries happen all the time, and with the lack of game experience going into next season, it will be interesting to see how New Jersey adjusts if someone goes down.