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Training camp opens at South Mountain

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Brodeur finishes autographs on the first day of Devils training camp.

Behind the scenes at Day One

Matt Loughlin speaks to Head Coach Brent Sutter – The 2007-08 Devils are officially out of the gate, as players and coaches convened this morning for the start of training camp at Codey Arena at South Mountain.

Media guide headshots, autographs and team physicals were the order of the day, with the team gearing up to hit the ice on Friday, Sept. 14. That's when new Head Coach Brent Sutter will lead the '07-08 squad into preparations for its inaugural season at the all-new Prudential Center, opening in October.

Sutter’s staff features assistant coaches Larry Robinson, John MacLean, and Tommy Albelin, along with long-time goaltending coach Jacques Caron, who is entering his 15th season with the team.

Some new faces include off-season free agent signings Dainus Zubrus (signed July 3), Karel Rachunek (July 3), Kevin Weekes (July 5), Vitaly Vishnevski (July 10) and Arron Asham (Aug. 7), along with several newcomers looking to make an impact in their first NHL camp:

Matt Halischuk (RW): Drafted with New Jersey’s fourth pick, 117th overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft, Halischuk spent last season with Kitchener (OHL), collecting 33g-33a-66pts in 67 games.
Ryan Molle (D): The 6-3, 195-lb. Winnipeg native was drafted with the Devils’ sixth pick, 207th overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft, after scoring 1g-4a-5pts in 61 games with Swift Current (WHL).
Nick Palmieri (RW): Selected with the Devils’ second choice, 79th overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft, the Utica, N.Y., native collected 37g-31a-68pts over the last two seasons with Erie (OHL), including an 2006-07 campaign in which he tallied 24g-21a-45pts in 56 games.
Tony Romano (C): The Smithtown, N.Y., native spent ‘06-07 with Cornell (ECAC), notching 9g-10a-19pts. The Devils’ seventh choice, 178th overall, in the 2006 Entry Draft, Romano skated this summer in the 2007 US National Junior Hockey Festival at Lake Placid.
Joe Rooney (LW): Signed as a free agent by Lowell in July 2007, Rooney spent the last four seasons at Boston College (Hockey East). As a senior in 2006-07, he had his most productive season as a Golden Eagle with 16g-26a-42pts.
Nicolas Sigouin (D): The Lachute, Que., native has spent two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, most recently with Acadie-Bathurst, where he posted 4g-13a-17pts in 61 games with the Titan.
Jason Smith (G): The 6-1, 170-lb. netminder was taken with the Devils’ fifth choice, 197th overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft. He spent the last four seasons with Sacred Heart (Atlantic Hockey), going 38-29-4 with two shutouts, and a 2.74 goals-against average in 71 career appearances. In his junior season, Smith set a new Pioneers mark for wins in a single season with 18, his 38 career victories is a school record.
Zach Tarkir (D): Devils’ fourth choice, 167th overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft, Tarkir played his last four seasons with Northern Michigan (CCHA), scoring 14g-35a-49pts in 151 career games. The native of Fresno, Calif., appeared in two games with Lowell (AHL) in 2006-07.
Jari Viuhkola (C): Signed as a free agent in June 2007, he tied for second in scoring with Karpat (Fin.) in 2006-07, with 7g-38a-45pts over 37 games last season. The native of Oulu, Fin., recorded 14 multi-point games, including a season-high five-game point-scoring streak.
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