All good things must come to an end. Five days of New Jersey Devils development camp came to a close in front of season ticket holders on Saturday with just one activity left on what has been a busy schedule: The annual development camp scrimmage. It was goals galore in the first period, defense first in the second, and an extended shootout to cap off the final day of camp. When all was said and done, and the equipment bags packed away, the Devils also made a signing to solidify the future.
The crowd of several hundred gathered inside the RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House to watch as Team Red went up against Team White in a two period scrimmage. Right out of the gates Nico Hischier made an impression, with a goal and an assist in the first period. Hischier assisted on the first goal of the game, his shot from the right point was tipped in front, and batted behind goalie Ken Appleby by Steve Santini. It was just the start of a 7 goal period where Hischier, Fabian Zetterlund, Nikita Popugaev and Bobo Carpenter all scored in first period, while Reilly Walsh had two. At the end of one, Team White lead Team Red 5-2.
In the second, Jocktan Chainey, Joey Anderson and Ryan Kujawinski scored for Team Red. And Nathan Bastian added the winner in the final minutes, shooting the puck past Evan Cormier for a 6-5 final for Team White.
After time had run out, fans were treated to an extended shootout. Each player had an opportunity to shoot, and show off their favorite moves. If a two-goal performance in the scrimmage wasn't enough for Reilly Walsh, he added another in the shootout. 2017 2nd round pick Jesper Boqvist went bar down on his first move, and high glove on his second converting both times. Best friends and self-proclaimed SuperBuddies Nathan Bastian and Mike McLeod scored back to back shootout goals to get the crowd excited for the final moments of camp. The players then gathered at center ice and saluted the crowd that had come to spend their afternoon at the practice facility, another year of development camp in the books.
Hischier Signs Entry Level Deal
Nico Hischier ended his development camp on a high note, putting pen to paper on his entry level contract. "He's a really respectful kid, the way he carries himself is nice to see. I think it has been a great learning week for him," said General Manager Ray Shero hours before signing Hischier. As for the young player, a week at camp has given him a taste of the NHL lifestyle, something he considers motivation. "For sure it's motivation. They gave us good stuff to improve and I'll go back home and work on that and come back for rookie camp," said Hischier, who will wear #13 for the Devils. The 2017 first overall draft pick headed home to Switzerland Saturday evening and will be back in New Jersey for rookie camp in September.