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DeBoer excited for start of camp

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

One day after getting their photos and physicals at Prudential Center, Devils rookies suited up Tuesday and hit the ice for the first practice of training camp.

Thirty-four skaters were divided into two sessions of 17 as camp hit full swing. Veterans report to camp on Wednesday and will skate on Thursday.

"It's nice to be back and in the action," said head coach Peter DeBoer. "It's nice to see everybody back in town. We've got everybody here now and you can feel the energy."

From hopeful prospects like blueliners Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Alexander Urbom to veteran forwards like Cam Janssen and Rod Pelley, a number of players are vying for 2013-14 roster spots.

"There's a lot of depth," DeBoer said. "There's a lot of NHL players in our minds and there's going to be some great competition to see who separates themselves for jobs. This will be a very competitive camp, as competitive as any I've been to here."

Both the coaching staff and prospects benefit from this lead-up to the full training camp.

"I think it's great," the coach said. "I think it's great for our staff. We haven't run a practice in four or five months so it's nice for our staff to get out especially with [new assistant coach] Mike Foligno here. We've got a new member there to kind of get some cohesiveness and get the kinks out with the young guys before the full camp starts.

"I think for the young guys to be able to work with the NHL staff and have the luxury of the D working with Scott Stevens, the forwards working with Dave Barr and Mike Foligno – you're talking thousands of games of NHL experience there. I think it's invaluable."

Sergei Brylin won three Stanley Cups with the Devils and hopes to bring that experience to his new role as an assistant coach with the Devils' AHL affiliate in Albany. The move was announced on Tuesday.

"We talked with Lou and tried to see what I'm going to do next year," said Brylin. "All of a sudden, coaching came up. I said, 'Yeah I wouldn't mind to try it and see what it's like.' He asked me if I'm willing to go to Albany, I said yes."

Brylin joins head coach Rick Kowalsky's staff with assistant coach Tommy Albelin and goaltending coach Dave Caruso.

Said Brylin: "It's a great opportunity to start a new career for me and see where it's going to take me."

Tuesday's first session
Goalies: Anthony Brodeur, Keith Kinkaid

Defensemen : Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Damon Severson, Harry Young, Alexander Urbom, Corbin McPherson

Forwards: Joe Whitney, Stefan Matteau, Ryan Kujawinski, Rod Pelley, Mike Hoeffel, Mike Sislo, Cam Janssen, Graham Black, Ben Johnson

Second session
Goalies: Maxime Clermont, Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen: Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Seth Helgeson, Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett

Forwards: Tim Sestito, Myles Bell, Remy Giftopoulos, Harri Pesonen, Riley Boychuk, Darcy Zajac, Reid Boucher, David Wohlberg, Chris McKelvie, Ben Thomson

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