Rocky Mountain high.

Few players in the NCAA are having a better season than Florida Panthers prospect and University of Denver standout Jack Devine. 

In the midst of his junior campaign, the 2022 seventh-round pick (221st overall) leads Denver in goals (21), shots (103), and power-play goals (8).

Bringing more than just scoring for the Pioneers, the Glencoe, Illinois native also ranks third on the team in assists (23), fourth in plus/minus rating (+18), and fifth in blocked shots (15).

On the season, Devine has recorded 15 multi-points game, including five games with three points or more.

Nationally, his name sits towards the top of the NCAA leaderboard as well.

At the time of this writing, the 20-year-old winger is tied for third in points and tied for fourth in goals in the nation. 

Following No. 3 Denver’s weekend sweep of Minnesota Duluth, I had the chance to catch up with Devine to discuss Denver, off-ice activities, and much more.

DARRAGH: Having statistically the best season of your career, what do you credit for this season’s success?

DEVINE: It’s been a great season for both our team and me personally. One thing to credit to my success is the work I put in during the offseason. I think I did a really good job working with our strength coach here Matt Shaw. He did a great job of preparing me, getting me bigger and stronger, and working on little keys for my game which was working on shooting more and getting faster and stronger.

DARRAGH: You already have a career high in shots with plenty of games remaining. Was there something that led to this (different mentality going into this year, someone tell you to, new line)?

DEVINE: I don’t know if it was one thing or that someone told me or not, but I’ve been fortunate to play with McKade Webster and Massimo Rizzo, who are both two tremendous players and really good playmakers. When I have the opportunity when they pass it to me, it’s looking to shoot and execute those passes. Also, when I have had the chances to pass or shoot, it’s trying to make the best decision, and I think in the past I looked to pass a little bit more. This year, it’s deciding in that moment what the best option is for me.

DARRAGH: Up until this season you’ve been considered more of a playmaker, but now this year you’ve been a major goal scorer. How would you classify your game?

DEVINE: I don’t know if there is one specific thing I would be classified as. For me, I’ve been able to grow my game to showcase my scoring ability this year and I know I also possess the power to be a playmaker. It’s exciting for me to be able to show that I am not one-dimensional and can do both things.

DARRAGH: How has going to Denver and being part of a championship team helped your game and mentality?

DEVINE: It’s awesome. It’s a winning culture here at the University. When you come to the rink every day, you’re expected to perform and give your best. I think developing as a player, when it’s competitive and hard, it’s just going to make you a better player.

DARRAGH: Your former Denver teammate Mike Benning is also in the Florida Panthers organization. Have you been able to talk to him about his pro experience so far?

DEVINE: Me and Mike have been keeping in touch a bit. He’s obviously been in Charlotte most of the season now, but it’s been pretty cool to watch him, and I’ve watched a few of their games. It looks like he’s having a good year and it’s nice knowing you have someone in the organization you that you can talk to and connect with to figure out how the adjustments have been and how he’s liking it there.

DARRAGH: What is something fans should know about Mike?

DEVINE: He’s a pretty funny guy. He’s always smiling and cracking jokes.

DARRAGH: You got to spend some time down here in Florida for development camp. What were the biggest things you took away from that experience?

DEVINE: I think development camp is a great opportunity to meet the staff and other prospects. It’s obviously a quick camp, but I think it’s just about grabbing a couple details and implementing them into my game this season. It goes by quick and there’s a lot of information, but anything you can take away and implement, I would say is a successful camp.

DARRAGH: Have you been able to watch the Panthers in the last year and half and, if so, what has stood out to you about the team?

DEVINE: I definitely watched their playoff run last year and I try to throw on as many games as possible when I’m not doing schoolwork or practicing. I think what excites me is that they look like a team that just has fun out there. They definitely look like they have a strong group that’s together and connected. Just watching, they have so much skill, but they work really hard and I think that aligns with parts of my game.

DARRAGH: Is there a NHL player that you’ve tried to emulate their style of play either growing up or now?

DEVINE: I don’t know if there’s exactly one NHL player, there’s tons of guys I enjoy watching and try to pick little things out of. This year it’s been really fun to watch a guy like Sam Reinhart. He’s obviously a tremendous player, second overall pick, he scores a lot of goals and does a lot of great things. I don’t know if I try to emulate my game, but he’s such a tremendous player that I try to watch and bring a few things into my game.

DARRAGH: What is something about you on or off the ice fans might not know?

DEVINE: I have two sisters and a really supportive family.

DARRAGH: Favorite class?

DEVINE: My finance classes. I’m a finance major and have always been drawn to those classes.

DARRAGH: What song gets you the most fired up before a game?

DEVINE: Money Trees by Kendrick Lamar.

DARRAGH: What is your favorite opposing college to visit or play against?

DEVINE: It was really fun to play against BC (Boston College) in Conte Forum and Kalamazoo against Western Michigan is always a fun one.

DARRAGH: What is your go to pregame meal?

DEVINE: We always just have chicken and pasta. That’s what our team gets us and it’s tasty. Maybe some broccoli on the side as well.

DARRAGH: What are your favorite things to do outside of hockey and in your free time?

DEVINE: Hanging out with teammates, friends and family, that’s definitely the first one. Any time you can go out to dinner with teammates or friends, I always like that. In the summer, I like golfing and getting outside.

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