The New Jersey Devils have very few defensive prospects to be excited about, but one to watch signed a deal in Binghamton. Tariq Hammond could be a nice option for the future.

Last season, the New Jersey Devils hit the lottery when they signed Will Butcher after he became a college free agent. It ended up working out for the Colorado Avalanche, because they signed former Devils prospect Alex Kerfoot. Either way, the Devils were able to get an important part of their playoff run towards the end of August.

This season, there aren’t players that good becoming free agents. However, the team did sign a player with lots of ties to Butcher.

In March, the Devils signed Denver University captain Tariq Hammond. If you feel like you’ve heard this before, Will Butcher was also the senior captain of Denver University the year before signing with the Devils.

Listen, Hammond is nowhere near the prospect that Butcher was. They could compliment each other really well, but Hammond is a stay at home defenseman. Butcher was an offensive defenseman, which is much easier to adapt to the NHL game.

Hammond learned a ton during his time at Denver. He used to have an issue with penalties, but only sat in the box for 14 minutes in 31 games in his senior season. He took over Butcher’s captaincy, and while he didn’t have the same success it still had him as the leader of hockey youth.

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In fact, he won the Murray Armstrong Award, given to Denver University’s most improved player.

Hammond is already 24 years old, so he’s much closer to his prime than Butcher. His specific set of skills will work well if Steve Santini rides with the big league club this season. His style will help the team with his shot blocking. He’s never going to be as skilled as Butcher, but watch out for him this season. He could be exactly what the Devils need. He’s a defensive defenseman. Besides Santini, there aren’t many in the Devils system with any upside.

Hammond has a glorious chance to play with some really great defenders in Binghamton. Eric Gryba and Brian Strait bring some NHL experience to the minors. They can lead the young, impressionable players like Hammond and Egor Yakovlev. This is why Hammond may become a good Devils prospect in no time.

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New Jersey Devils: Watch Out For Tariq Hammond

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