NEWARK, NJ - Each year, Development Camp serves as a valuable learning opportunity for New Jersey's prospect pool. But it's also important for undrafted camp invites, such as Danny Weight, who was thankful for the whole experience.
"Going through it all, having a bunch of meetings about the Devils' culture and the organization," he said. "I [just tried] to soak it all in and, yeah, the experience. Obviously, I wasn't a draft pick, so I'm just here as a free agent. Just trying to work hard, take experience, and try to get drafted next year."
Weight would see the past week as a victory if he could make an NHL organization take notice. He did everything in his power to make that happen, and was noticeable in the final scrimmage on Saturday.
"Just proving myself," he said. "Proving that I'm a good player, and that I'm a good enough player to get drafted, and show the Devils that I'm the type of player they want, so hopefully they get a lot of interest in me and I can end up here."
Weight, 18, skated in 23 games for USNTDP Juniors in the USHL last season, scoring eight goals and adding seven assists. In 41 games for the American Under-18 squad, he scored eight more goals and added nine assists. He spent those games alongside the likes of Devils 2019 first-overall pick Jack Hughes and fellow New Jersey prospects Patrick Moynihan and Case McCarthy.
"It's nice to have familiar faces around for sure, but at the end of the day everyone is such good guys here, they pick a lot of good guys, so it was really easy coming in and meeting all the guys and getting along with them, so we have a good group here," Weight said.
Video: RAW | Danny Weight
Weight describes himself as offensively dynamic. When he's at his best, he's a good playmaker.
"I think my hockey IQ and vision [stand out], and I'm really good with my hands, good edges and [have] a quick release," he said. "I like making plays."
It would be understandable if a camp invite like Weight would be nervous heading into a camp like the one he did last week. However, Weight was pretty calm about it all, seeing as he has a key role model to lean on in times like this - his father.
Doug Weight, who played more than 1,200 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup in his career, is always there for his son.
"[His influence has] been huge," said Danny. "My whole life, just going to a bunch of these camps with him, the main camps, and being around that lifestyle really showed me what it takes to be a pro. I think coming here I'm already used to it, so it was a good experience for that, and he's done a lot for me to get me here."
Now that camp is over, Weight is slated to join the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. He is committed to Boston College for 2020-21.