The New Jersey Devils have a few good goal scorers.
In the past, Ilya Kovalchuk has been a 50-goal scorer. Patrik Elias once hit 40, and David Clarkson had 30 last season.
And no, Kovalchuk's not going to match that scoring pace with the Devils, and yes, Elias is well past his prime—though still able to contribute significantly offensively—but the talent remains. Throw in Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique (when he returns from injury) for good measure, and that's a good group of forwards.
The problem for the Devils is, that's where it ends. Last year, the Devils found some supplemental scoring from Alexei Ponikarovsky and Petr Sykora, but both players left the team after becoming free agents.
Now, once you get past the few quality forwards, the Devils have to rely on players like Dainius Zubrus, unproven kids like Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby and overall not-that-talented skaters like Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.
The Devils have almost always had trouble scoring goals, and they've always gotten by on above-average defense. This season has been no different. But with an aging defensive corps and two goalies who will both be 40 on May 5, the defense may not be as reliable as usual. If that happens, the Devils will be hard-pressed to find people to make up for the goals lost with Parise, Sykora and Poni.
One of the few untested options available to the Devils is Bobby Butler. The Devils acquired Butler right before the lockout hit, and it seemed like he was fitting in well with the team: During the lockout, he led the Albany Devils with 15 goals.
Unfortunately, he failed to impress and did not make the squad from training camp. He is still playing well in the minors, even starting for the East All-Star team this past weekend. But whether he'll become an effective weapon on the big stage remains to be seen.