If there is one thing you notice about Dallas Stars prospect Devin Shore at the team’s development camp – outside of his skill level on the ice - is that he has bulked up quite a bit since the team drafted him two years ago. It is proof that Shore’s decision to play college hockey instead of major junior hockey has paid dividends.
Shore could have played major junior in the Ontario Hockey League, but he opted to go to college to allow himself more time to develop physically.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I flip-flopped back and forth,” Shore said. “The OHL is such a great option, but you have to pick what is right for you. The biggest thing for me is that I needed more time to develop. I was a small kid going into my 16-year-old OHL year, and there were guys stronger than me and way more mature physically, so I figured the college route extends the window to become a pro.”
With fewer games during a college season than in major junior, and most of those games on weekends, it allows players more time during the week to work on strength and conditioning. Shore has made the most of that time, going from 185 pounds as a freshman in 2012-13 to 205 pounds at the end of this past season.
“We got two solid heavy lifts in [during a week], not maintenance lifts, let’s get stronger,” said Shore. “This season I put on 10 pounds during the season. I came into the season at 195 and by the final game I was 205. I put on weight during the season, which is a positive.”
There have been plenty of positives on the ice at Maine for Shore, a creative, crafty center who was Dallas’ second round pick (61st overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft. In his first season he became the first freshman to lead Maine in scoring since Gustav Nyquist (2008-09), registering 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists) in 38 games.
This past season he led the team in scoring with 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) in 35 games. He tied for 15th in the nation in scoring at 1.23 points per game and ranked sixth among players in Hockey East. Shore ranked second nationally and led Hockey East with three shorthanded goals. He ranked seventh in Hockey East with 13 power play points.
Among the honors he raked in were Second Team All-American, Hockey East First Team and Maine’s Most Valuable Player.
“I was pretty happy with it,” Shore said of his 2013-14 season. “I was blessed to get all the opportunities I could ask for from my coach. He put me out in all the key situations, which is exciting. I think I did a good job of establishing myself more of a leader on the team, more of a vocal guy. Being a year older, knowing what to expect and playing with more confidence with and without the puck helped me. Hopefully this season it helps me even more.”
Shore will take on a bigger role this season, especially in a leadership role. He’ll be the captain of the Black Bears in 2014-15.
“I was fortunate enough for my teammates to vote me captain, so that’s a big responsibility. It’s one I am excited about and a challenge I am excited to take on,” said Shore. “The good thing is with our team it will be fun and really easy to lead. The personalities and the way we mesh in the room is really good. I think for any team to go far you have to have a close team, and that’s what we have.”
Maine made strides last season under new head coach Red Gendron, posting a winning record after a dismal 2012-13 campaign. Shore is hoping for bigger things next season.
“We want to win a championship. I think this year is the year for our team,” Shore said. “We are going to have a great team. A Hockey East championship and getting to the Frozen Four, those are the results based goals. But if you just focus on getting better every day and doing whatever part to win, that stuff takes care of itself.”
Shore, a finance major, also has excelled in the classroom. He has been named to the Hockey East All- Academic Team in each of his two seaons at Maine.
This is the third time Shore has been at the Stars’ development camp, an experience he calls “a ton of fun.” He’s considered one of Dallas’ top prospects, and the Stars like the path he is on in his development.
“Devin had a really strong season. He’s a real solid player, smart. He was one of the better players in college hockey,” said Stars assistant GM Les Jackson. “He has a great attitude, good work ethic. He is a pretty impressive player and person.”
Saturday camp schedule
The Stars will hold two on-ice sessions at development camp Saturday. There is an 11:00 a.m. to Noon session. Then, the Stars will hold a skills program from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Both sessions are at the team’s practice facility in Frisco and both are open to the public.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.