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Chris Shero has NHL management in his blood

by Mike G. Morreale / New Jersey Devils



NEWARK, N.J. -
Chris Shero hopes one day to be able to follow in his father's footsteps as the general manager of a professional hockey team.

Until then, the 20-year-old forward realizes the importance of perfecting his craft on the ice playing for Boston College in Hockey East.

Shero is the son of New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero and grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Fred Shero.

"After college, [management] is something I'd love to get into," Chris Shero said. "I love to be around the rink every day. It's the greatest job in the world; there's only 29 other [general managers] that have that job, and to carry on the legacy of my grandfather and my dad would be special."

Shero participated in Devils development camp at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center this week. As one of nine players invited on a tryout basis, he wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

It isn't unusual for the Devils to have players at development camp on a tryout who eventually make it to the next level. In the past five years, forwards Conor Sheary and Matt Lorito have showcased their talents. Sheary scored four goals and 10 points in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning the Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lorito agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 1 after leading Albany of the American Hockey League with 54 points and 36 assists in 71 games last season.

On the opening day of camp, Shero scored the decisive goal in a shootout. He skated in on goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and faked to his backhand before putting a forehand into the top left corner.

"I can't really say I expected that," Shero said. "I'm not a finesse-type player, but I guess I'll take it."

Shero, enrolled in Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences, played one game for Boston College last season. He considers himself a fourth-line grinder.

"I think that I'm that type of player who loves to play the penalty kill, loves to block shots, to play the defensive style of game," he said. "At BC they taught me about defensive-zone coverage and how important it is. I think being in that type of system the next three years will only help me get better as a player."

Prior to joining the Eagles, Shero played for the South Shore Kings of the United States Premier Hockey League and had three assists in 31 games. He played for Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire in 2013-14.

"Last season was a transition year [at Boston College], and I think practicing and playing with NHL-drafted players, and that tempo of play, gave me more confidence," Shero said. "I didn't get in that many games, but I know at the end of the year I became a better player alongside some of those other great players."

Forward Miles Wood, selected in the fourth round (No. 100) by the Devils in the 2013 NHL Draft and signed to a three-year, entry-level contact in April, had 10 goals and 25 assists in 37 games at Boston College last season. He was Shero's roommate at development camp.

"I've known [Shero] for a year at BC, and played against him in prep school too," Wood said. "He's positive about the game whether he's playing or not. He's always up there trying to help guys get excited for the game, and he's fun to be around."

Shero was asked if his father is as intense at home as he is in the front office.

"He leaves most of his work at the rink, and when he comes home he makes it strictly about family," he said. "This is his job and living, so at this point we're used to it."

Prior to being named GM of the Devils in May 2015, Ray Shero spent eight seasons (2006-14) as executive vice president and general manager of the Penguins, and won the Stanley Cup in 2009.

"I think so far here he's done a great job [in New Jersey]," Chris Shero said. "I know in Pittsburgh it didn't end how we wanted it to. It was a very tough finish back in 2014 with the loss to the New York Rangers [in the Eastern Conference Second Round]. But I think within a span of a year since he got here, he's made changes, and this is his chance to put his own footprint on this team for a long time into the future.

"You can see he's bringing in his guys, bringing in players. I feel the whole area is being revitalized by some of the younger players stepping in and getting the job done."

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