Earlier this afternoon, The New Jersey Devils have announced their roster for this year’s rookie camp and challenge expectations for 2022. The Devils will play three games in this year’s Prediction Challenge, starting with Montreal on Friday night, Buffalo on Saturday night, and Boston on Monday morning. Yes morning. Like at 10 am. The Devils website will broadcast all three challenge games. The New Jersey Devils roster features 28 players, including a few invited forwards. Here is a breakdown of the list.
Goalkeepers (4): Nico Doss, Akira Schmid, Tyler Brennan, Isaac Poulter
Daws and Schmid were top goalkeepers with Utica last season, and Daws received a lengthy recall at 2021-22 in 25 games. I’m a little surprised he qualified for this tournament, but I wouldn’t complain about the extra minutes of a young player. Brennan was the only goalkeeper for the Devils selected in the 2022 draft. It was Isaac Poulter She was signed to a two-way contract by Utica back in June. he is He played for the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League for four seasons The start of last season was arguably complete in the WHL. He scored his best season overall in terms of overall save percentage last season with 91.1% in his 49 games The Swift Current team is poor. We’ll see how he gets into professional hockey. Don’t be shocked if he ends up with ECHL’s Adirondack just to keep him active in 2022-23. I expect these four to be rotated over the next three matches.
Defense Men (9): Kevin Bahl, Nikita Okhotuk, Riley Walsh, Simon Nemec, Michael Vukojevic, Tobias Filin, Jeremy Grolow, Philip Pratt, Jarrod Gurley
The biggest name among this group is 2022’s second pick, Simon Nemec. This tournament will be his first time playing for the New Jersey Devils. I was expecting a lot of eyes on him throughout this rookie camp and, later, before Devils season. Bahl, Okotik, Walsh, Vukojevic and Gruglio were mainstays at Utica last season. With one (two?) spots ready to be grabbed and demand created for the depth chart, there’s going to be plenty of competition in camp to see which comet beats the other. That contest starts Friday night. Like Nemec, this tournament will also be Vilen’s first set of matches as the Devil as he signed ELC last season.
The two lesser known names are Philip Pratt and Jarrod Gurley. Pratt is already Jesper’s brother. He appeared at Demon Development Camp in the summer. Philip signed the AHL two-way agreement in July. He’s 20 years old, not that big (5’10”, 179 lbs), and He was only a producer with AIK U-20s last season. Gourley is slightly bigger (23), much bigger (6’2″, 212 lbs), It came through the NCAA where it didn’t produce muchand signed with the organization earlier. He moved to UConn in his first season after three seasons with Arizona State University. Someone in the organization was watching him when he signed an ATO with the Adirondack after the Huskies’ season ended in March. He played 10 matches with them and was also loaned to Utica for four matches. Gourley did well enough to secure a one-way AHL contract with Utica in June. With a crowded blueline—not including veterans like Robbie Russo and Tyler Wotherspoon—the competition for comets only will be fierce. This camp and Camp Utica will go a long way to determine whether Bratt and/or Gourley will start 2022-23 as a Comet or as a member of the Adirondack Thunder.
Attackers (15): Alexander Holtz, Nolan Foote, Arne Talvetti, Graeme Clark, Brian Halonen, Chase Stillman, Josh Filemon, Garrett Van Weihy, Noah Corson, Luke Pinnell, Daniel D’Amico, Zach Jones, Billy Geary, Xavier Barnett, Brody Crane
Of the 15 strikers, 6 have NHL entry level contracts as of this writing: Holtz, Foote, Clarke, Halonen, Stillman and Talvitie. The hope is that Holtz will pay for an NHL job before this season. The rest is about who can improve, although the time may be shorter for some of them. After all, Halonen and Talvetti are 23 and Bigfoot will turn 22 in November. Filmon was drafted by New Jersey in 2022 NHL Project; The Devils have his rights for two seasons, so he doesn’t yet need an entry level contract. The rest of this group needs more information. (The players in the following list are associated with their Elite Prospects profile.)
- Xavier’s father -The Guardian was at Demon Development Camp and signed an AHL contract in July with Pratt. He totally went for Sherbrooke of the Quebec Junior Hockey League last season with 51 goals and 106 points in 65 season games as well as 9 goals and 22 points in 11 playoff games. He was slightly above the point-per-game average of the 2020-21 season that was shortened for the pandemic to ‘Q’ and had production issues before then. The parent isn’t that big at 5’8″ and 170 pounds and his past productions suggest his glow was a result of him being older and more familiar with the league than his younger peers. However, he’ll get his chance to see if his game can handle a professional level with Utica or the Adirondack.
- Garrett Van Weihy – Van Wye Ho has been a solid sixth hand for the Michigan Wolverines for four seasons. He was never a particularly productive player in the NAHL or USHL before going to Michigan. In Michigan, his points total were 10, 10, 5, and 12. He works hard, helping balance a very strong Wolverines team in his college time, and He caught Utica’s attention when he signed an AHL deal for two seasons After Michigan lost to Denver in the Frozen Four semi-finals.
- Noah Corson – Noah is already the son of Shane Corson (and nephew of Darcy Tucker) and is a day laborer already at 24. The striker started with Moncton at QMJHL, traded with Drummondville, landed at Junior a QJHL with Granby and then moved to St-Gabriel-de-Brandon , went to AJHL to play for Grande Prarie, first signed in Sweden for the first two teams in 2019-20, then finished 2019-20 with SPHL’s Evansville, joined Knoxville for 2020-21, then signed with AHL’s Chicago Wolves but mostly played with Norfolk of the ECHL in 2021-22. He signed a two-way contract with Utica for this season last month. If nothing else, it traveled well.
- Luke Pinel Bignell is a center that plays at Guelph University in Canada. Yes, a Canadian college player. Unlike the NCAA, he can (and is) join the Devils on a trial basis for this camp. Bignell played for three seasons with Barrie, was never drafted, was certainly valuable to the Colts (he was their captain in 2019-20) but wasn’t enough to attract any interest after his junior season ended with the 2020-21 OHL season cancelled. With 6 points in 14 games in 2021-22 (and the OUA All-Rookie), I expect Bignell to make up the numbers. But anything good he can show can help him get more eyes on him when his time with Gilf is over.
- Daniel D’Amico Another player invited to the Devils’ Junior Camp is Daniel D’Amico of the Windsor Spitfires. He just finished his fourth season with Spits out of the past five seasons (remember: OHL canceled 2020-21) and has been fairly productive since his second season. Last season, the 21-year-old had his best productivity with 32 goals and 58 points in 67 season matches and 11 goals and 21 points in 25 playoff games (Windsor lost in the OHL Finals in 2022). This is D’Amico’s second attempt with the NHL team as He was part of the St. Louis camp last season. As with other overexpectations, the goal is to get out of this with some kind of bargain. We’ll see if he does.
- Zack Jones Like D’Amico, Zack Jones is a young player with demons in experience. Unlike D’Amico, Jones’ time with QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads was not fruitful. He played in the Boston area before jumping to ‘Q’ in 2019-20. With the Mooseheads, he averaged just over half a point per game. I think he’s here to make up the numbers unless the 5’9″, 172lb center could show a lot more than his young career would suggest.
- Billy Jerry Jerry came through Wisconsin’s youth teams, played for Madison in the USHL, and joined RPI in the 2017-18 season. The striker wasn’t quite as productive, and what could have been his first year was turned down because the Ivy Leagues – and ECAC – had no places in 2020-21. He moved to Long Island University, was appointed their captain, and settled down 14 goals and 31 points in 34 games to lead the Sharks in scoring in 2021-22. He joined Adirondack in March on ATO, played in 15 games, and It was re-signed by Thunder in August. He’s here to make up the numbers, even though he’s a member of the organization. How he works as a rookie with the Thunder over the course of an entire season may show whether or not he has a future at Utica. The work will now be put in place.
- Brody Crane – Crane is another junior player who has been invited to Devils Camp. However, he is only 18 years old (he turned 18 in May) and is still eligible for registration. Crane just finished his rookie season with London with 8 goals and 15 points in 56 games. The left winger seems to like to get into the attack zone according to the brief expedition propaganda in his EP. Brock Otten Named Crane 44 in OHL’s 50 Best Players in 2022 NHL Draft, indicating that he was aggressive to a foul and perhaps someone who could thrive next season with the riders. I don’t think demons can sign it (not sure at least?), but at least they can take a closer look at what it can do.
For the strikers, the main interest will be on the signed players from the NHL. I expect them to carry the load on the Prospect Challenge games and set an example in any other sessions before the full camp starts next week. For the purposes of preparing for a season with Utica, Adirondack, or back-to-back juniors (or in the case of Bignell, University of Guelph), these games hold a lot of value. We will see how they progress and how the coaches will benefit from these players.
Final note: Here are the 2022 All About the Jersey Top 25 Under 25 rankings for all rookie camp players who are ranked: #7 Nemec, #8 Holtz, #13 Daws, #16 Walsh, #18 Bahl, #19foot, #20Okhotek, #23 Clark, #24 Stillman, #28 Vukojevic, #29 Talveti, #30 Philin, #33 Brennan, #34 Halonen, #38 Filemon, #48 Grollo.
Among this group are you excited to see the performance in the challenge of prospects? Who do you think should have a good rookie camp to grab attention at next week’s camp? Please leave your answers and other ideas about the Devils beginner camp list in the comments. thank you for reading.