The New Jersey Devils Development Camp is in full swing at Prudential Center. Thirty-three players have completed their first day of on-and-off ice training activities, all structured to give these young men a taste of the NHL experience as well as inform them what it takes to become a Devil.
On Monday night, players gathered at the arena for a team dinner and introductory meeting led by New Jersey Devils Assistant General Manager, and General Manager of the Binghamton Devils, Tom Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald welcomed the players to Prudential Center invited each player to stand up and introduce themselves and detail where they played their 2017-18 hockey season. If a player was sitting next to a current teammate, Fitzgerald asked them to move to a different spot - this is an opportunity to diversify who you know in the hockey world and get to know new people. Players were introduced to all members of the Hockey Operations, medical, training and coaching staffs and to Devils Head Coach John Hynes.
Hynes spoke at length to the players about the fundamentals most important in being a member of the Devils: Brotherhood. He spoke about getting to know those around you, not only as hockey players but as people and the success that players in past years have had coming out of Development. Over the past three seasons, thirteen players who have attended development camps have played at least a game in the NHL with the Devils. Hynes sees this development camp as serving as a first step to those players in the past.
On Tuesday morning, players reported to Prudential Center for their physical testing, before hitting the ice. Players were put through a shuttle run to test endurance. This test is always a challenge, even for the most fit players.
The shuttle run exercise was followed up with a nutrition session in the main locker room with nutrition specialist Brad Schoenfeld, before heading to a team lunch and on-ice sessions. Once on the ice, players were broken up into offense and defense to work with Devils assistant coach Alain Nasreddine and Binghamton Devils head coach Rick Kowalski.
There were some fun and games thrown in too, on Day 1 of Development Camp. Players took part in a Ping-Pong tournament and were invited to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. to play soccer on the professional pitch, as well as indulge in a team BBQ.
• Players will have to dig deep to find a talent beyond their hockey skills. Players were informed on Monday night that they will have to participate in a talent show at the end of the week.
• Following the Development Camp 3-on-3 tournament, a team bonding trip to the New York Mets game is on the schedule. Players will be accompanied by current members of the New Jersey Devils as they spend the evening taking in a baseball game at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y.