Summer Skate: New Jersey Devils

It's going to take a committee approach to replace Ilya Kovalchuk's contributions. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the New Jersey Devils. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Note: Because of the lockout, GVT scores for the 2013 season are prorated from 48 to 82 games.

Summer Skate: New Jersey Devils

The fact that the Devils missed the playoffs in 2013 was one of hockey's biggest injustices, as they finished third in the NHL in possession -- every other team in the top 12 qualified for the postseason. Part of the problem was that the team was criminally unlucky when it came to shooting percentage. And oddly enough -- given Martin Brodeur's career credentials -- they were victimized by their goaltending far too often.

It was an exciting start to the offseason after the Devils traded for Cory Schneider at the NHL draft, but that feeling was quickly deflated when Ilya Kovalchuk returned to Russia. A slightly revamped forward corps that includes Ryane Clowe, Jaromir Jagr and Michael Ryder will be attempting to help replace the one-time Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner, as well as David Clarkson, who left for Toronto.

Trending up: F Ryane Clowe
Last season: 1.5 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 4.4