What exactly makes a role player in hockey? In a sport like basketball the answer is far more clear. You have your scorers and playmakers like Joe Johnson and Deron WIlliams for the Brooklyn Nets. Then you have your role players, whose responsibilities are to defend and man the glass, like Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans.
Kardashian affiliates aside, in hockey you can argue that every player is a "role" player. While not all players have the same ability, the coach essentially demands the same out of everybody. Rumor has it that Scotty Boman's pregame speech sometimes was simply "forecheck, backcheck, paycheck."
To break it down into definable terms, I'll title the top six forwards and top defensive pair as "featured" players. The rest are role players.
For the New Jersey Devils to even sniff the success they had last season coach Pete DeBoer will have to rely on his role players more than maybe any other coach. Let's look at five who must elevate their game in 2013.