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PODCAST: Jesper Bratt Thrilled to be Back

The Devils forward caught up with the Speak of the Devils Podcast while in quarantine

by Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com

It was a highly anticipated arrival.

Jesper Bratt finally back with the team after his quarantine period upon returning to New Jersey from Sweden. 

If it felt long for fans, imagine how long it felt for Jesper, who was itching to be on the ice and put his off-season work into action. But he still had to wait. 

"I have a Pav and Nico calling me 20 times a day," Bratt said of his arrival in New Jersey, "We talk a lot on the phone and stuff and I asked them a lot of questions."

While in his quarantine period, Bratt spent time with the Speak of the Devils Podcast, presented by RWJ Barnabas Health, hosts Matt Loughlin and Amanda Stein. There was a lot to cover after an absence of ten months, and plenty to be excited about as well.

"For the first three months [after the season was canceled], I stayed in my parents' house, so that was awesome. We usually don't get too much time during the season together, they usually come once or twice a year, but we usually don't see each other for more than two weeks out of the season. 

"So, it was awesome for me and it was a little different getting to live at home again, obviously it was fantastic to get some nice food and get your clothes washed and stuff. But it was great, especially around May there when the weather starting to get really good and spending a lot of time with my family. We were having dinners at home and we were spending so much time together that it's probably not going to happen again in my career."

While the months away from the game have been hard, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who couldn't look on the bright side of getting that extra family time. For Jesper, it wasn't just about getting his laundry done by his mom, but getting that extra time with his younger brother. 

"Me and my brother are extremely close, he's my best friend too," Bratt shared, "So we were spending a lot of time together. I got my own place in Stockholm too, and he was basically moved in with me too. So, we were spending every day together there […] he's starting to really be a young adult now turning 19 in May […] And it's always a little different. I mean, I'm seeing him over the summer, and then I don't see him for six, seven months again, and he's usually growing pretty fast. So, it's been fun to being around him so much."

But it was time to get back to work.

His arrival in New Jersey was certainly later than he would have wanted, but he also understood the business side of the game he plays. It wasn't easy, but it is how it all played out. Needless to say, the Devils were never too far from Bratt, who kept a close eye on the team as training camp opened and he was still in Sweden. 

Once his contract was signed, he heard right away from his new head coach Lindy Ruff. 

"[Conversations] have been really good," Bratt said, "Lindy's been great. Having the Zoom calls with me and going over the system and trying to explain to me how they want me to play and how they also want the whole team to play. So, I'm excited about the new system and it's going to be fun to see it in person during the practice and try it out."

And then, when he was cleared to return to team practices, he was thrown right into the mix, with just a morning skate under his belt, and top-line duties later that evening. That first night, Bratt played 20:47 and didn't look out of place. He skated with Andreas Johnsson and Jack Hughes, a line Lindy Ruff described as "buzzing."

"I really liked his game," Ruff said after the game. "I mean, there's nobody that couldn't like his game. That line had a lot of zone time, they set up some good opportunities and the better things are to come. For 40 minutes, I couldn't be more proud of how we defended, and how we got up ice."

The long-anticipated wait is finally over, and the Devils are all the better for it.

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