NEWARK, NJ - Just like that, another Development Camp has wrapped up in New Jersey. And as is the custom, the week-long event closes with a Red versus White scrimmage which got underway on Saturday afternoon. In front of a packed house, the future generation of New Jersey Devils took to the ice for one last time before dispersing for the summer.
Video: ANALYSIS | Dev Camp Scrimmage
It was Team Red that took home the 3-2 overtime victory against Team White and here are 10 takeaways from the scrimmage:
1. The fans came out in droves to watch the future generation of the Devils on a beautiful summer day. What a testament it was to the excitement building for the 2019-20 NHL season. Hundreds of fans turned out for the event at RWJBarnabas Health HockeyHouse, surrounding the entire ice surface.
2. As the clock ticked down leading up to team introductions, first-overall selection Jack Hughes was one of the final players to jump on the ice. If you didn't see him take to the ice for the first time, the crowd noise certainly tipped you off! As Hughes' skates touched the ice, fans cheers began to roar louder in anticipation of seeing the highly coveted player in action for the first time.
3. The scrimmage consisted of two periods. The first 20-minute period was 5-on-5, while the ice opened up in the second half with 4-on-4. Because the two teams were tied at two, there was a five minute 3-on-3 sudden death overtime period, treating fans to a little extra hockey.
After the game's score was finally settled, every player in attendance had a chance to try their hand at a shootout.
4. The opening faceoff put Development Camp veteran Brett Seney against newcomer Jack Hughes. And much to the crowd's excitement, Hughes won the opening faceoff to a great round of applause.
5. Nicholas Canade, one of three invites to Development Camp, was the lone player to score during the 5-on-5 portion of the scrimmage. His shot from the left point beat goaltender Evan Cormier to give Team White a 1-0 lead. Canade had also scored earlier in the week during the 3-on-3 tournament.
6. Hughes capped off his first Development Camp with a goal during the scrimmage that had the crowd chanting his name. The recently-signed center came up the left side of the ice before calling for a pass. Using the Team White defender as a screen, Hughes took a quick snapshot that speedily made its way into the net. Joey Anderson and Reilly Walsh had the honors of assisting Hughes' "first goal" as a New Jersey Devil.
Video: HIGHLIGHTS | Hughes Scores
Video: MIC'D | Jack Hughes' First as a Devil
7. Nikita Popugaev was a player that stood out during the scrimmage and not just because he managed to score a goal 4-on-4. The 6'6 Russian forward wasn't afraid to use his size against his opponent, laying out a particularly big hit on Eetu Pakkila that sent the Finnish forward to the ice, with Popugaev looking no worse for wear. The 20-year-old, who played 17 games for Binghamton last season, was noticeable on every shift and a pleasant surprise all of camp. His goal gave the red team a 2-1 lead with 15:00 to play in the scrimmage.
Video: HIGHLIGHTS | Popugaev Pots One
8. There has been plenty of buzz surrounding Jesper Boqvist and the Swedish forward certainly came as advertised. His skating ability, which has been heavily praised by Devils management, looked a step above the rest. Both he and Hughes appeared in a different category when it came to their skating abilities and agility. And although a very small sample size, Boqvist looked like he found a way to adapt his skills to a smaller North American sized ice from the one that he's used to playing on in Sweden. Being able to find the inside of the ice, with less space to work with on an NHL sized rink will be where the bigger adjustments will need to come for Boqvist, who is putting himself in a spot to compete for a job on the NHL roster this coming season.
Video: HIGHLIGHTS | Boqvist Buries One
Boqvist's goal for the Red team tied the game at two.
9. Marian Studenic had the honors of capping off the scrimmage with the overtime winner. Off a feed from the left post from Blake Speers, Studenic capitalized on the 2-on-1 to seal the victory for the Red Team, 3-2.
10. It was Canadian defender Michael Vukojevic who stole the show in the shootout. Why not give it a try! Vukojevic went from a spin-o-rama before heading to his backhand and scoring on goaltender Akira Schmid. There certainly were a few "Oooh's and Aahh's" as the puck crossed the line into the net, and Vukojevic relished in the moment with a huge smile on his face and trying to get the crowd pumped up as he headed back to the bench.
Video: HIGHLIGHTS | Vukojevic's SO Goal