Speed, agility, and competitiveness. These three words are often used to describe highly ranked prospects for NHL teams today. In the pipeline for the Devils, these skills can be attributed to many players, but one stands out in Binghamton-Brett Seney.
Tied for first in goals scored this season, the 5-foot-9 forward is a powerhouse on the ice.
"I think [speed is] definitely my biggest asset as a player. Being able to get in on the forecheck and try to create chaos and that sort of thing. Especially with today's game, it's so fast, that if you can have that quick edge over guys it helps you get the puck more," Seney stated.
Seney was called up to New Jersey just a month into his rookie season and made his league debut on November 4, 2018. His strong impact was immediately felt when the London, Ontario native netted his first NHL goal in his fifth game of the season against the Winnipeg Jets.
"It's one of the best feelings I've ever had. It was definitely a special moment and it's something that you dream of as a kid. I'll never forget it," said Seney.
Fortunately, his success did not stop there. He went on to score four more goals and picked up eight assists in his 51-game run with the Devils. However, it wasn't just points he collected. The 23-year-old piled on the pressure, registering 31 penalty minutes during his time with the big club.
"It's a mindset that no matter what position you're playing or no matter what role you're playing on a team, defense is such an important part of it," Seney remarked.
A multitalented player, Seney's strengths cover all corners of the rink. But he spends time focusing on boosting his defensive efforts.
"You have to be defensive responsibly," Seney continued. "It's something I've focused on a lot since turning pro and it's something that I think I've definitely improved on."
Before signing with the New Jersey Devils on March 16, 2018, Seney proved his potential while playing four years for Merrimack College. During his senior year with the Warriors, he tallied 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points.
Seney expressed that the coaching staff at Merrimack helped prepare him for his future in professional hockey.
"Coach [Mark] Dennehy, Curtis Carr, and Bill Gilligan were huge parts of it. They opened up my mind to different aspects of the game," said Seney. "I think I went into Merrimack as a one-dimensional player and came out as a more complete player. So, I have to give a lot of credit to those three."
After working with Seney for half a decade, Dennehy can clearly see the changes in his game.
"I think from when he was 17-years-old to now, the biggest difference is his strength," Dennehy acknowledged. "We had a strength coach [at Merrimack] Mike Kamal who did a really good job. In Binghamton, I think he gets great input from Steve [Volek], but at the end of the day he's the one who has to put the work in and he has. It's affected his entire game-his strength on his skates, his shot."
While he has come far from his time in Merrimack, Seney strives for consistency and hopes it will make him a stronger player over the 2019-20 season.
"The word consistent is the biggest part, not taking shifts off or games off. I think that was the biggest challenge for me last year, especially at the end of the year," Seney conveyed. "It's just coming to the rink every day and focusing on what you can do to get better. I want to help the team and I continually try to fulfill certain roles in my game and enjoy the time on the ice."