On Sunday, he was the pivot on a line with Zach Parise
and Brendan Shanahan. In Monday's morning session, he worked with Jay Pandolfo and David Clarkson
Cormier might have a bright future ahead, but he said Monday that every young player at this year's camp is working to give himself a chance.
"If you come here thinking it's all fun, then I think you shouldn't be here," Cormier said. "Everybody's coming here to be competitive and to work as hard as possible to show what they can do."
He didn't read too much into his assigned linemates.
"You can't get into signs or thinking too much," he said. "I think you just play. Someone has to play there. They're giving some guys a chance to see what they can do, I don't look into that at all."
Cormier, the Devils' third choice, 54th overall in 2008, was pleased, however, about the opportunity to skate on lines with veterans. He said he's working hard to adjust to the speed of play.
"When they set the lines, I was pretty happy to have the chance to skate with those guys," he said. "I was hoping, and I was lucky that I got the chance."
Cormier set career highs across the board, collecting 23 goals, 28 assists and 51 points at Rimouski (QMJHL) last season. He won the gold medal with Canada at last year's World Junior Championship, and was named to the All-Star Team at the 2009 Memorial Cup tournament.
Shanahan offered some high praise for Cormier's performance at camp thus far.
"I thought he was really good." Shanahan said. "He's got a lot of qualities that could put him in the NHL. I haven't seen all of the young players, but to me, so far, he seems like a guy that's someone who will have a career in the NHL."
On Monday, Shanahan skated on a line with Travis Zajac
at center and Parise on the left. Last season, Zajac and Parise were on the Devils' top scoring line with Jamie Langenbrunner.
"I don't make too much of it," Shanahan said. "It's training camp, second day. I don't read a whole lot into it."
When the future Hall of Famer joined the Devils in January last season he saw a variety of duties, including time on the power play and the penalty kill. Though Shanahan, 11th all-time with 656 goals, has made his mark as one of the best scorers in NHL history, he'll do whatever he's asked to do by the coaching staff – all while working to earn more.
"I'm always going to push myself to do as much as a I can," he said. "I think all pros should always push themselves and have high expectations and strive to do more. But at the same time, you're given a job, and you do it." Shanahan v. Peters
After the morning scrimmage, players paired up to work on one-on-one puck possession battles. Shanahan drew the shortest straw and had to go with tough guy Andrew Peters, who's attending camp on a tryout.
"He's a rather large lad," Shanahan said. "That was pretty tiring, I think he's about 255 without his equipment on. It was heavy work, slogging in the corner."
Shanahan admitted the matchup wasn't his idea.
"When Jacques was explaining the drill to all of us, he used us as an example and it just happened to be because we were standing next to each other," he said. "I guess we just sort of got thrown together. I usually try to pick people under 250."
11:35 a.m. – Session wrapping up now as players stretch at center ice.
11:30 a.m. – Players looking exhausted working on these one-on-ones immediately after a scrimmage. Looks like a lot of tired legs out there.
11:26 a.m. – Players have all paired up with a puck to work on one-on-one battles. Shanahan doing a good job keeping the puck away from the hulking Peters. Parise going against Zajac; Clarkson against Pandolfo.
11:06 a.m. – Red line back out for PP. Right side offensive zone draw, Parise and Shanahan set up on the off-wings with Zajac taking the draw. They're working with Davison and Young on 'D.'
11:04 a.m. – Pandolfo-P. Cormier-Clarkson practice power play with Fraser-Grenier against Pikkarainen-Walter (green) and Oduya-Martin.
11:03 a.m. – Gray line of Sestito-Vasyunov-Halischuk with Urbom-Delahey working a power play against Nagy and Peters (light blue) and Salvador-Greene.
11:01 a.m. – Red line of Parise-Zajac-Shanahan working a power play against Clarkson and Pandolfo (blue).
10:58 a.m. – Two on-ice officials arrive. They won't call penalties, only offsides and icings.
10:57 a.m. – Frazee is sharing the workload with Caruso in net.
10:46 a.m. – Looks like Sestito, normally a center, has moved to left with Vasyunov taking the middle for the gray line. Match up is red, light blue and green with white defense and Frazee, against blue and gray with the black defense and Brodeur.
10:44 a.m. – Morning scrimmage underway. Brodeur starting in net against Frazee.
10:40 a.m. – Ice is done; players waiting on the bench to get back out for the second half of the morning session.
10:24 a.m. – As was the case on Sunday, the group skated through drills for about a half an hour before clearing the ice for a resurfacing.
10:06 a.m. – Day Two of training camp is underway with another mix of veterans and rookies.
This morning's forwards are, in red: Travis Zajac
centering Zach Parise
and Brendan Shanahan; in blue: Patrice Cormier centering Jay Pandolfo and David Clarkson
; in light blue: Kory Nagy
centering Kevin Cormier and Andrew Peters; in green: Ben Walter centering Vlad Zharkov and Ilkka Pikkarainen; in gray: Tim Sestito
centering Alex Vasyunov and Matt Halischuk.
In defense, wearing white are: Paul Martin with Johnny Oduya, and Bryce Salvador
with Andy Greene
. Defensemen wearing black are: Rob Davison, Matt Delahey, Mark Fraser, Olivier Magnan-Grenier, Alex Urbom and Harry Young
Goaltenders are Martin Brodeur
, Dave Caruso and Jeff Frazee
Coaching staff on the ice includes head coach Jacques Lemaire, with assistants Mario Tremblay, Tommy Albelin and Scott Stevens. Goaltending coach Jacques Caron is on the ice, joining Lowell goaltending coach Chris Terreri."