Summerside, P.E.I. - The New Jersey Devils were greeted by throngs of fans Monday morning on their way into their practice at Consolidated Credit Union Place. One half of the Devils are in PEI for KraftHockeyville 2017, where they will take on the Ottawa Senators. The other half of the team will take on the Islanders in Brooklyn.
In front of 2,000 students and teachers, the Devils hosted an open morning skate as part of the Hockeyville festivities, but it was still all business for coach John Hynes and his team. Taylor Hall, who heard his name screamed out more than once on the morning skate Red Carpet, is on Monday's top line with Pavel Zacha and Kyle Palmieri.
The second line will feature Marcus Johansson at left wing, a position he has played much of his career. Twice this preseason Johansson was tested at center, but he'll shift to left wing on a line centered by Nico Hischier and with Drew Stafford on right wing for the game against the Senators. Hischier says he looks forward to playing with someone as crafty and skilled as Johansson is.
Speaking of Hischier, the province of P.E.I. is nothing new to the rookie. He played on the island several times with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Hischier will have familiar faces in the crowd tonight - his Halifax billet family will make the trip.
In goal, Cory Schneider will play a second straight 60-minute game. Coach Hynes is giving him ample opportunity to gear up for the regular season, which is rapidly approaching.