The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Matt Vokes is February 21, 2010. The Brown University product scored four goals that day, and finally seemed to put it all together. I don’t think his numbers really indicated how skilled he is…especially when you consider that he scored 20 percent of his goals in that one game. He always seemed to be in the right spot at the right time, but couldn’t finish for one reason or another. Still, he finished second on the team in points.
Vokes will be 25 years old when the 2010-11 season gets underway, so he needs to get his career going now. The Devils would be wise to bring him back, although it remains unclear whether he’d receive a legitimate opportunity to get a look at the AHL level.
Another undersized forward in his first professional season, the 24-year-old Ginand was banged up for a good part of the season. A disciplined and solid two-way player, the Northeastern grad was a solid contributor when he was on the ice at the Sun National Bank Center.
Ginand is a nice player at the ECHL level, but I’m not sure how well he’d fare at the AHL with his skills where they’re at right now. If he can put together another solid season in Trenton, he might figure into the Devils plans at some point, but he’ll have to both stay healthy and put up much better numbers to do so.
Chucky! I remember panning this signing when it was made — I mean, how many undersized guys can one team have, you know? — but I’ll tell you what, I liked Dan Charleston. He always worked hard, was decent at both ends of the ice, and he was a pretty talented playmaker. He had some issues staying on the ice as well, I know he battled a few injuries during the course of the year, but he averaged over a point a game when he was out there.
The personable 25-year-old has experience at the AHL level in the Detroit Red Wings organization, and if he were to re-sign with the Devils, it’s not unthinkable that he could add to that with them. He may, however, be better suited in an organization that can give him a better opportunity. Charleston reminded me a lot of Brett Pilkington…but maybe not with as much speed. I say he heads overseas or to a different team.
A gritty winger, Eves was second on the team with 102 penalty minutes, behind only Justin Coutu. He was second on the team in plus/minus as well, with his +15 mark being bettered by only Andy Thomas (+16).
Only 24 years old, Eves seems like a veteran, having gone through two seasons in Trenton now after being acquired early in 2008-09 from the Idaho Steelheads. Reliable, but often overlooked, the former Lake Superior State standout put together a fine season with the T-Devils, but doesn’t appear to figure into the Devils long-term plans. I think Eves will return to Mercer County for a third season, but like many players from last year’s squad, he might be better off finding an organization that will give him a better chance at advancement.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com