For the first time this season, the New Jersey Devils called up Joey Anderson. The forward played 34 games for the club last season, and had seven points through those games (4-3). This year, while playing for Binghamton, Anderson has made major improvements to his game, particularly with his confidence.
"My confidence with the puck is as high as I've ever had it," said Anderson following practice. "I'm confident making plays. Defensively I want to be out there in all the situations."
Video: RAW | Joey Anderson
Anderson has 15 goals this season, and 34 points in 44 games. Anderson's 15 goals are tied with Brett Seney for the most on the team.
"He's been very consistent, we're in communication with [Dennehy] down there" said Devils Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine. "He approaches every day, he's ready to work, he's committed. His attention to detail is great, his work ethic and compete, he's everything you want as a coach."
Anderson didn't make the Devils after training camp and reported to Binghamton. Although he was disappointed, Anderson used this time to work on his game.
"They've put me in positions to have success, and I think we've all been working and making the most of it," said Anderson. "Last year was a great learning experience, and it was great to have this experience in the NHL. But this year has been an uphill climb the whole year with my confidence, it's just been growing and growing."
"It's not a bad thing sometimes to go to the American Hockey League. I'm sure he's found some confidence there, making plays, and his numbers back that up," said Nasreddine. "He went down there, he showed up ready to work every day, willing to get better and now he's up with us."
Anderson also credits Binghamton Head Coach Mark Dennehy for trusting him and encouraging him to play without the fear of making mistakes.
"He's been great for me especially personally," said Anderson. "We've had a lot of individual talks, one-on-one with him. He's been great for my confidence I think. He made sure that I know that he trusts me defensively, he knows I'm going to make the right plays."
Nasreddine said he was not sure the exact lineup for Tuesday night, but there is the expectation Anderson will suit up.
"He's a good all-around player, he can touch on both special teams, very reliable defensively, so there's a lot to like with Joey."