Alexander Holtz
Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic loves the pipeline coming to build the Devils into a competitive organization soon.

The New Jersey Devils are still building for their future, but many analysts love the direction they’re heading as an organization.

On Monday, Scott Wheeler at The Athletic added the Devils to his organizational rankings — at No. 4 overall. That’s up from No. 11 last year.

Here’s the Devils’ top ten prospects in Wheeler’s rankings:

  1. Alexander Holtz, RW
  2. Luke Hughes, LHD
  3. Reilly Walsh, RHD
  4. Tyce Thompson, C/RW
  5. Nolan Foote, LW
  6. Shakir Mukhamadullin, LHD
  7. Arseni Gritsyuk, LW
  8. Chase Stillman, C/RW
  9. Graeme Clarke, RW
  10. Samy Salminen, C

Wheeler notes that the Devils have climbed his rankings significantly even though Ty Smith, Dawson Mercer, Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen have all graduated from his previous rankings.

That’s four young players making an impact on the NHL roster, Holtz already having tasted the highest level and more really good depth coming soon.

Devils fans should be thrilled.

Wheeler says in the article that both Holtz and Hughes would both rank inside his top 20 overall prospects if he did overall individual rankings today — which is especially exciting given one is a potential top-line forward and the other is an 18-year-old freshman defenseman at the University of Michigan.

Hughes, still only 18, leads all under-19 players in NCAA scoring for a Wolverines squad that features a handful of top NHL draft picks, including 2021 No. 1 overall pick Owen Power.

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.