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BLOG: Kevin Bahl, Not Just a Shutdown Guy

Devils Prospect Kevin Bahl joins the Speak of the Devils Podcast on Monday

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

It might be easy to pigeonhole a player like Devils prospect Kevin Bahl. 

At 6'6 (even taller on skates) and listed at 229 lbs., it would be easy to categorize him as a 'shutdown defenseman'. But that's not how Bahl, who had 31 points last season with the Ottawa 67s, sees himself. 

He has no problem shutting the opponent down, but sees himself as a different, perhaps new age 'defensive defenseman'.

"I wouldn't consider myself just a shutdown defenseman, that's all I do," Bahl told the Speak of the Devils Podcast, "I think a lot of offenses created from the defensive zones, keeping things simple, creating three-on-twos from the back end, stuff like that. I think, personally, I feel like everybody's kind of transitioning to being more like two-way, everybody has to be able to play two-way, so that's definitely a thing that I focus on and I've been trying to do the last couple of seasons, right. 

"So, I think that that's the goal," Bahl continued, "be more two-way, but two-way doesn't mean you're jumping up in the rush, being super offensive or carrying the puck all the way in, it's more, again, just keeping it simple, creating three-on-twos from your own end, playing defensively sound and then just pitching in when you have to, it doesn't have to be every shift."

The 20-year-old spends time watching NHL players like St. Louis' Colton Parayko, who Bahl calls a "very interesting, big mobile guy", and Brandon Carlo of the Bruins, "another big, mobile guy". 

"I like watching those bigger, mobile defensemen, who can, they can transition from defense to offense pretty quickly, and just like keep it simple and sound."

Stay tuned on Monday for the latest episode of Speak of the Devils Podcast to hear more from the Devils prospect, who joins Matt Loughlin and Amanda Stein this week. 

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