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BLOG: Alex Turcotte talks about teammate Jack Hughes

Turcotte talks about how Hughes has handled the pressure and what makes him a special player

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

BUFFALO, NY - One of the prospects who came out to meet the media on Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine was Alex Turcotte, who is expected to be drafted in the top five of June's draft. Turcotte also played with Jack Hughes on the U.S. National Team Development Program and was asked about his teammate. 

"He's obviously really talented but I think his work ethic is the best on the team. He's unbelievable. He wants to be the best player in the draft and I'm sure he wants to be the best player in the world one day and that doesn't come without his determination and work ethic. It's definitely been a treat to be a part of it," said Turcotte, adding that Hughes has handled the pressure of being a top-ranked pick really well. 

Video: RAW | Alex Turcotte on Jack Hughes

"Being 17 and 18 year olds it's not easy. It's definitely not normal at this age but he's done great with it. He's having fun with it. We're all really honored to be in this situation."

Turcotte was asked about Hughes on the ice and he had high praise for the center. 

What stands out with his game is he's so creative with the puck. He's unbelievable with those no-look passes and has great hands. He's super creative. His personality is really fun. He's a really goofy kid who's always fun to be around and always making you laugh.
 

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DRAFT: Castron helps lead Devils to big draft decision

Devils Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron recently wrapped up the first wave of amateur scout meetings

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

It's a position that he's familiar with, having gone through it in 2017, but that doesn't make the decision of who to draft first overall in Vancouver on June 21 any easier. 

Devils Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron puts the process together when it comes to assessing the draft talent pool. The scouts recently wrapped up their amateur scout meetings but as of right now, the slots one and two remain open. 

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BLOG: Ty Smith named WHL defenseman of the year

Devils prospect named league's top blueliner after 69 points in 57 games

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Ty Smith was named as the Western Hockey League's Defenseman of the Year on Wednesday at the league's annual awards banquet. Smith had 69 points in 57 games including seven goals and 62 assists. He ranked fourth in blueline scoring in the league despite not playing in 11 games. 

"It means a lot to me. I'm really thankful to win this award, especially considering all the great defensemen in this league. I'm fortunate to be a part of this class," Smith said at the awards banquet today. 

Video: RAW | Tom Fitzgerald on Ty Smith

The blueliner was also asked about playing in the World Juniors and Super Series and how that helped shape his game and raise his level. 

"I'm pretty thankful to have taken part in those events. Every event I go to, I learn that I need to raise my compete level. If I want to play in the NHL one day that's something I need to continue to do."

Smith was drafted by the Devils in the first round of the 2018 NHL draft, 17th overall. He will now go head-to-head with Evan Bouchard of the London Knights and Charle-Édouard D'Astous of the Rimouski Océanic for Canadian Hockey League Defenseman of the Year later this month.

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BLOG: Two Devils among 22 named to Team Canada for 2019 Worlds

Damon Severson and Mackenzie Blackwood will be representing their country in Slovakia

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Devils defenseman Damon Severson and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood were among the 22 named to Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. 

"It's always a special opportunity when you get the call to represent your country on the international stage," said Jason Botterill, one of the members of Canada's management group. "This roster is a mix of youth and veterans who will help lead the way in this short-term competition. Our coaching staff is excited to work with these players as we get set for a competitive tournament in Slovakia starting May 10."

Severson is one of seven blueliners, along with Thomas Chabot, Dante Fabbro, Brandon Montour, Darnell Nurse, Troy Stecher and Shea Theodore while Mackenzie joins Matt Murray and Carter Hart in goal. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Damon Severson is looking forward to a solid May with Team Canada at #IIHFWorlds. pic.twitter.com/XtOAR9XPHf

"Excited to be going to play for Team Canada! It's such a privilege to be able to represent your country and its game of hockey. Also really cool to be alongside an idol of mine growing up in Thunder Bay," Blackwood said about Murray. 

Canada now heads to Vienna, Austria for training camp, which will include a pre-tournament game on May 7 against Austria. The tournament gets underway on May 10. 

Blackwood and Severson join fellow Devils or Devils prospects Nico Hischier (Switzerland), Jesper Bratt & Jesper Boqvist (Sweden) and Cory Schneider & Coach John Hynes (USA).

- with files from Amanda Stein

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BLOG: USA wins bronze as Hughes sets all-time record

With three points, Jack Hughes set the record for points all-time at the U-18 tournament with 32, topping Alex Ovechkin

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Top-ranked North American prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft Jack Hughes netted a goal and two assists to help lead USA to a 5-2 win over Canada, capturing the bronze medal at the World U-18 Championship. 

With the three points, Hughes has 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 14 games at the tournament over the last two years, topping Alex Ovechkin who had 31 points in 14 games. Hughes had 20 points in this year's tournament (9 goals, 11 assists), one shy of Nikita Kucherov's record of 21 in a single tourney. 

"This is a pretty cool tournament, pretty cool event," Hughes told NHL.com. "I'm lucky to be able to participate in it twice. It's been two pretty good runs. It's really cool to be on top of that ranking."

Hughes assisted on Alex Turcotte's goal eight minutes into the game to open the scoring. With 54 seconds to go in the first, Dylan Cozens scored to tie the game. Hughes scored 6:54 into the middle frame to put USA up 2-1 and assisted on Cam York's goal with 4:42 left in the second to make it 4-1 for the Americans. 

Each team traded a goal in the third period, making the final 5-2. Despite the disappointment of not getting gold, earning the bronze medal was still an important accomplishment for the club as it helped continue the streak fo 16 straight years earning at least a medal in the tournament for the Americans. 

"It's just a really special group," Hughes said. "It [stinks] we didn't end up with gold. I still think we're the best team in this tournament. I think a lot of other people think that. To come out here, it's kind of a gut check. That kind of shows our character, shows how good we are. To come out here and beat the Canadians like that, it was a lot of fun to win our last game like that."

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BLOG: USA falls in U-18 semis to Russia in OT

Jack Hughes registers one assist but USA dropped a 3-2 decision to Russia in overtime

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Team USA dropped a 3-2 decision to Russia in overtime today in the semifinals, sending the Americans to Sunday's bronze-medal game. 

Top-ranked North American skater Jack Hughes had one assist, as the Americans trailed 1-0 going into the third before scoring two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead. Russia then tied things up later in the period before prevailing in overtime. 

With the assist, Hughes now has 17 points in the tournament which beat Phil Kessel's record of 16 points by an American in a single U-18 tournament. He's four points behind Nikita Kucherov, who has the tournament's all-time record of 21. 

Next up for the Americans is the Bronze Medal Game which is tomorrow (Sunday, April 28) at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

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BLOG: Hischier scores three, Bratt once in Worlds tune-ups

Devils 2017 first-overall pick puts on a show in his first game for the Swiss Men's National Team with trio of goals

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Nico Hischier netted a natural hat trick in a pre-tournament game for the upcoming IIHF World Championship as Switzerland defeated France 6-0. It was the first time that Hischier had ever suited up for the Swiss Men's National Team. 

Tweet from @SwissIceHockey: Scoring a Hattrick in your first game for the Men's National Team? No biggie for @nicohischier pic.twitter.com/J1Z0oWnuuf

Hischier scored Switzerland's third, fourth and fifth goals of the night to net the natural hatty. He converted on a two-on-one, electing to shoot to make it 3-0, crashed the net to make it 4-0 and then redirected a shot under the crossbar for the team's fifth of the night. 

Meanwhile, Jesper Bratt played for Sweden in their 3-1 win over Finland and scored a power-play marker en route to being named Player of the Game. 

The actual tournament gets going on May 10. 

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BLOG: Hughes hat trick propels USA to semis

Top-ranked Jack Hughes nets three goals and one assist as USA clobbers Finland 6-0 in the U-18 quarterfinals

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Top-ranked North American skater Jack Hughes netted a hat trick, an assist and was +3 with six shots on goal to lead Team USA to a 6-0 win over Finland at the World U-18 Championship, advancing to the tournament semifinals. 

Hughes registered a natural hat trick, scoring USA's second, third and fourth goals of the game. He also assisted on Cole Caufield's goal in the third period which made it 5-0 for the Americans. 

Hughes now leads the tournament with 16 points and holds the record for points in the World U-18 tournament among Americans with 28 (he had 12 last year). He's three points back of Alex Ovechkin's record of 31 points for the tournament's all-time record. 

Next up for USA is a semi-final game against Russia starting at 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday. 

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BLOG: Hughes nets two assists as USA rolls over Latvia 7-1

Hughes continues to rank second in tournament scoring with 12 points in four games

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Jack Hughes continued to show why he's the top-ranked North American skater for the 2019 NHL Draft with a two assist performance in helping Team USA to a 7-1 win over Latvia, clinching top spot heading into the Quarterfinals. 

The two assists by Hughes came on a goal by defenceman Cam York midway through the second period and then another by Cole Caufield four minutes later. Hughes has five goals and 12 points in the tournament, second only to Caufield who has 11 goals and 13 points. 

Next up for USA is the quarterfinals on Thursday where they are expected to meet Finland. Game time is still to be determined. 

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BLOG: Hughes has two points as USA tops Russia

Top-ranked draft prospect Jack Hughes has a goal and an assist in USA's 6-3 in over Russia

by Marc Ciampa / newjerseydevils.com

Top-ranked North American skater Jack Hughes had another strong outing as Team USA improved to 3-0 in the tournament with a 6-3 win over Russia on Sunday. 

Russia opened with a 2-0 lead before Hughes scored midway through the opening frame to make it 2-1. Alex Turcotte then tied it for the Americans with just over five minutes to go in the first. 

USA added two more in the second with Hughes assisting on a Cole Caulfield marker with 28 seconds to play in the middle frame to make it 4-2. 

Russia narrowed the gap to 4-3 12 minutes into the third but USA regained its two-goal advantage 21 seconds later and added an empty netter with three seconds left. 

Hughes had five shots on goal and was +1 in addition to his goal and assist. He now has 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in three games to rank second in tournament scoring. 

Next up for USA is Latvia on Tuesday, 9:30 AM ET. 

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