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David Conte: 6 Fun Facts

Learn about Las Vegas' new Special Advisor to Hockey Operations

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

It's a transaction that may not have caused much of a ripple on the surface, but has major implications for Las Vegas's hockey team.

When David Conte was welcomed into the fold as Special Advisor to Hockey Operations on August 17, Las Vegas received one of the most astute scouting minds in the sport.

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Over more than three decades in the sport, Conte is most known as the man that ran the New Jersey Devils' drafts in a variety of titles from 1984-2015. It's in this capacity that Conte helped transform the Devils from expansion also-rans into one of the NHL's elite franchises, winning Stanley Cups in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Each of the Devils' three Stanley Cup-winning teams were predominantly built around players Conte brought into the organization.

Although former Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, a Hockey Hall of Famer, often got most of the press for New Jersey's success while Conte remained the consummate man behind the scenes, Las Vegas's new hire is widely known in hockey circles.

Here are six other fun facts to know about Conte.

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1. The man finds All-Stars, if not Hall of Famers.

He was the driving force behind New Jersey's 1990 drafting of Martin Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history. Conte followed his tabbing of Brodeur in 1990 by selecting defenseman Scott Niedermayer in 1991. Niedermayer is also a Hockey Hall of Famer.

2. Here's a list of notable NHL players that Devils drafted during Conte's run with the team.

-Martin Brodeur
-Scott Niedermayer
-Brendan Shanahan
-Zach Parise
-Patrik Elias
-Scott Gomez
-Bill Guerin
-Brian Rolston

3. Conte helped draft 26 players who have won Stanley Cups as a player, totaling 44 championships rings.

But more than that, his scouting staffs with the Devils were also known for finding undrafted diamonds in the rough who became NHL standouts. Among them are retired defenseman Brian Rafalski and center John Madden. Conte's staffs, known as early leaders in landing collegiate and European prospects, found both Madden and Rafalski playing in Finland. Both won championships with the Devils, and with other NHL clubs as well (Rafalski with Detroit in 2008 and Madden with Chicago in 2010).

4. Conte's scouting philosophy has clear ties to his playing career.

Despite never playing in the NHL, Conte, now age 68, played professionally in Finland and Italy in the 1970s, and coached New England College. Although Conte is hardly remembered as a player, he was actually teammates with Hockey Hall of Famer Jari Kurri during his career in Finland.

5. Conte is often linked with Lou Lamoriello, the Devils' general manager from 1987-2015.

It is widely forgotten, however, that Conte predated Lamoriello in joining the Devils organization. Conte served on his post with the Devils for 31 years.

6. Graduated from and played for Colgate University in upstate New York, and scouted for the Washington Capitals in the early 1980s.
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