From their origins in Kansas City and later Denver, the franchise that was to become the New Jersey Devils was once the National Hockey League’s laughing stock.
Struggling to find traction for his losing club, owner Dr. John McMullen finally shook up his high-command in 1987 and imported Providence College sports icon Lou Lamoriello to put the Devils on the right track.
The sextet Lou inherited had potential, mostly because of a couple of earlier longshot draft picks via previous GM Max McNab‘s regime. At the time, neither of them figured out a way to make New Jersey a playoff team. Yet, that duet would provide a nucleus for winning teams down the road.
Those unexpected aces who followed also excelled beyond expectations and were instrumental in converting the Devils into one of the most respected championship teams in the league.
Here’s how each of them made the big club: