Two days into training camp at AmeriHealth Pavilion, Pete DeBoer already likes what he sees from Stefan Matteau.
The Devils' first-round pick last June, Matteau has impressed the head coach by showing he belongs on the ice with NHLers.
"The way he carries himself, he's a big, heavy guy that I think moves well. He's a typical New Jersey Devils forward," DeBoer said Monday. "Those guys are hard to find and he looks to me like he's going to have a good, long career."
A left wing, Matteau has skated on a line with Dainius Zubrus and David Clarkson. Zubrus is a familiar face for Matteau: they train together in Montreal during the offseason. Zubrus even called Matteau moments after the Devils selected him 29th overall.
But their line combination at practice? A coincidence.
"Zubie ended up there by accident because (Jacob Josefson, lower body) was out," DeBoer said. "You're giving us too much credit. It's a good thought, though."
Still, being with Zubrus has helped Matteau get acclimated.
"It's pretty cool," Matteau said. "He's looking out for me, he's helping me out along the way. It's different to see what he does every day. I'm used to seeing him in summer hockey and summer workouts, but now it's actually the NHL and it's pretty cool to see him here."
Matteau hopes to get his own taste of NHL action soon. He has 18 goals and 10 assists for Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL), but would love to be in the lineup when the Devils open the 2012-13 season Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.
To do that, he'll have to continue making a good impression.
"I think it's going better and better," Matteau said. "It's obviously a big step up from where I was, but I feel comfortable. It's a pretty big adjustment in speed, but I'm playing with Zubrus and Clarkson and they're two good guys, two good players so things are going well."
• LW Reid Boucher scored four goals for Sarnia (OHL) on Saturday, upping his season total to an OHL-leading 35. Boucher has eight goals, five assists in seven January games.
• D Damon Severson had a goal and two assists last Wednesday for Kelowna, extending his season-high points streak to seven games (1g-9a). He's seventh among WHL defensemen with 32 points (6g-26a).
• LW Ben Johnson's riding a six-game points streak after potting a goal for Windsor (OHL) Sunday night. He has tallied six goals and two assists during the streak, including a hat trick on Jan. 4.
• C Graham Black scored Saturday for Swift Current (WHL), and now has points in three straight contests (2g-2a). He has five points (2g-3a) in six games this month. Black is third on the Broncos with 34 points (18g-16a).
Black's teammate D Reece Scarlett recorded an assist for the Broncos on Saturday, giving him a goal and four assists in January. He leads Swift Current defensemen with 24 points (6g-18a).
• D Joe Faust picked up his first goal/point of the season for Wisconsin (WCHA) on Friday in the Badgers' 4-3 OT win over Minnesota State. Faust was the Devils' fourth-round pick in 2010.
• D Jon Merrill registered an assist in each of Michigan's (CCHA) weekend games vs. Alaska for his first points of the season. He returned to action on Jan. 4 after suffering an injury during the preseason.
• RW Artur Gavrus made his season debut for Owen Sound (OHL) on Saturday. He spent the first half of the season skating for Neman Grodno in Belarus.