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4th overall pick A. Larsson makes Devils, Sykora un-signed, Captain TBA

All 30 NHL teams have a Wednesday deadline to make their final roster cuts before opening weekend coming up.  This is also the deadline for teams to get under the NHL's salary cap, which shockingly, is not an issue for Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils.  The big news today, however, is that 18-year old Adam Larsson has made the Devils out of training camp, as Lou Lamoriello is impressed with the younger offensively and defensively (quotes from Lamoriello may be found on Tom Gulitti's Fire and Ice blog). 

Larsson led the Devils' defense in terms of ice time during his last three pre-season games.  First year Devils coach Peter DeBoer suggested that he won't hesitate to throw the Swedish blueliner into the fire, as Larsson could be playing close to 24 minutes on some nights.

While the Devils have yet to finalize their roster, it appears that Larsson will be joined by Henrik Tallinder, Anton Volchenkov, Andy Greene and Bryce Salvador on defense.  The other one or two spots will either by filled by [two of] Matt Taormina, Mark Fayne or un-signed tryout Anton Stralman, although it seems Taormina will begin the season in Albany of the AHL.  Mark Fraser, Matt Corrente, Jay Leach and Peter Harrold were placed on waivers by the Devils today.  Alexander Urbom did not need to clear waivers, and he was sent to Albany.

Along with Stralman, forwards Steve Bernier and Petr Sykora are also un-signed.  It seems that Sykora has a legitimate chance to make the club, as he put up two goals and an assist in his four pre-season games with his former team.  He played much of his pre-season playing with his former linemate Patrik Elias and Zach Parise.  A word on Sykora's fate with the Devils could come on Tuesday.  Stephane Veilleux, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito and Vladimir Zharkov were the forwards placed on waivers by the Devils today (goaltender Keith Kinkaid was also sent to Albany).  This nearly ensures Cam Janssen of a spot on the NHL roster, as he had signed a 2-way contract.

The last piece of housekeeping the Devils are expecting to address before their 2011-12 season rolls in on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers is the captain's vacancy.  It looks likely that either Zach Parise or Ilya Kovalchuk will be wearing the "C" on Saturday, but there has been no official word from DeBoer or Lamoriello as of yet.  There has been speculation that the Devils would not name Parise the team's captain until he is signed to a long-term contract, but hey, speculating about Lou Lamoriello's Devils is like asking a teenager asking a police officer for a free beer: it's just not going to work out.

So the pieces are falling into place: the Devils' roster has been trimmed and the team's 18-year old phenom, Adam Larsson, has made the team and the announcement of the Devils' new captain is due soon, as well as the final roster spots.  The new season is here.

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