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Devils wrap up 2018 Development Camp

The Devils 2018 Development Camp came to a close on Saturday

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein /

And just like that… Development Camp 2018 has come to a close. 

After nearly a week in New Jersey, all 33 development camp players hit the ice for a final showdown this summer. The annual Red vs White scrimmage took place at RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House on Saturday morning.

Tweet from @amandacstein: Group photo of #NJDevCamp as we wrap up the week with the Red vs White scrimmage!

In front of another packed house, players took to the ice for the scrimmage at 11AM. Team Red dominated the first period, scoring four goals - including two by 2018 first round draft selection Ty Smith. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Two goals so far for @_tysmith_24! Will we see a third? #NJDevCamp

Smith, a defenseman, would continue to impress during the scrimmage, scoring a third goal for a hat trick. When I asked him the last time he tallied three goals in one game, he had to dig deep but was unable to remember if it even happened before! 

In the end, Team Red defeated Team White 5-4.   

The scrimmage wrapped up a week of activities that has taught the players the ins and outs of what it's like to be a New Jersey Devil and a professional athlete. At every turn there was a lesson to be learned and an element of competition. Most of those lessons came off the ice and are vital to understand the Devils culture. Players spent a great deal of time on team bonding and giving back to the community. 

On Thursday morning, players were split into six different groups for a Build-A-Bike activity. Each group had to answer trivia questions in order to earn a piece of a bike that the team would need to build a full children's bicycle. The exercise forced players outside their comfort zone, each group having to come up with a team name, flag and cheer that they had to perform in front of their teammates. 

Tweet from @amandacstein: I���m not sure what is happening here exactly. #NJDevCamp

Perhaps the greatest payoff of the Build-a-Bike activity was the end result. Once all six bikes were completed, the players were informed that their bikes would be donated to children selected from RWJ Barnabas Health facilities. As players stood proudly by their finished products, six young children and their families who have spent most of their young lives in and out of hospitals, received their bikes and helmets with a New Jersey Devil decal on it. 

This moment is epitomized what a professional athlete is all about. Creating memories for children and their families and being in the fortunate position to give back to the community was a rewarding payoff. Players took it upon themselves to help the children get on their bikes and teach them how to pedal. 

Tweet from @amandacstein: What it���s all about: being able to give back to your community. #NJDevCamp players learning the value of community service today. Love this video: #NJDevils

Of all the off-ice activities during Development Camp, perhaps the most common hockey-player activity of them all was a visit to Top Golf on Thursday evening, where players got to show off their golf skills - a favorite past time for many hockey players in the summer months. 

Tweet from @AimeeKimball: Thanks @Topgolf for hosting the @NJDevils for another fun development camp activity.

Throughout camp, there was the week-long Ping-Pong tournament, split into offense vs defense. When all was said and done, it was the duo of Xavier Bernard and Jocktan Chainey who defeated the team of Reilly Walsh and Jeremy Davies. 

Tweet from @AimeeKimball: Winner winner chicken dinner. Bernard/Chainey with the upset over Walsh/ Davies in the @NJDevils ping pong finals.

There was a talent show as well, though little evidence exists - it was a no camera zone, as players put on performances that ranged from skits, to songs and dances. I'm told there were costumes too. We'll have to leave the rest to our imaginations.

All week-long players have been given points for their activities, whether its placing first in Go-Karting, winning the Ping-Pong championship, or building their bikes the fastest, everything has an underlying competition to it. In the end is was prospect Marian Studenic who won the points competition for the week to wrap up camp.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Final standings from #NJDevCamp!

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