Devils general manager Ray Shero said prospect Nick Lappin needs to take another step to become a full-time NHL player.

According to Devils AHL coach Rick Kowalsky, that "one step" for Lappin is, quite literally, one step.

"He's got to get a step quicker. I've talked about it with him quite a bit throughout the year, and we worked on some stuff," Kowalsky said. "We talked about starting from a dead stop in practice in every drill and making sure you're sprinting those first three-to-five strides, even if you're just warming up, to train those muscles to be explosive."

Through two pro seasons since graduating from Brown, Lappin has gotten a brief taste of the NHL, playing in 49 games.

He has five NHL goals, including one in six NHL games during the 2017-18 season. He spent the majority of his time in the AHL, leading the Binghamton Devils with 31 goals in 65 games.

Lappin showed he can score at the pro level. Kowalsky said he has the tools and skills to be an NHL player if he can take that next step physically.