56 players at the 2022 New Jersey Devils Training Camp

Boot camp for veterans and beginners started this morning for New Jersey Devils. The team released their list. Sounds like, well, everyone else’s bootcamp list this week. A much larger group of 23 players consists of NHL veterans, NHL budding players, hopeful NHL players, AHL players, a few PTOs and prospects. The Devils are no different from the 56 players currently in camp. Here is the list by position. I’ll include my “brief” thoughts at a glance for each position in terms of who can make the team, who can’t (read: AHL-signed odds and players only), and everyone else.

Goalkeepers (7): Mackenzie Blackwood, Vitek Vanessek, Nico Doss, Akira Schmid, Tyler Brennan (Prospect), Jonathan Bernier, Isaac Poulter (AHL)

Poulter is on an AHL contract so he can’t make the team. He was one of two players on Rookie Camp’s roster who didn’t play in Defying Predictions for 2022 either. He’s here to make the numbers. While Bernier is on the list, he is expected to be an injury reserve for a long time and will not play. Brennan is from the rookie camp. He did well on his only Prospects Challenge and the Devils needed another goalkeeper in camp, so it makes sense to keep him for another week or so. He will likely return to Prince George at WHL next. Only because he does not yet have an entry level contract.

It is this center that has the least amount of competition in New Jersey. In spite of everything in 2021-22. Blackwood and Vanishek are the two goalkeepers in the National Hockey League. Daws, Schmid and Poulter will compete to appear at Utica alongside Marek Mitens.

Defensemen (18): Kevin Bahl, Philip Pratt (AHL), Jarrod Gurley (AHL), Ryan Graves, Jeremy Grolow, Dougie Hamilton, Thomas Hickey (PTO), John Marino, Simon Nemec, Nikita Okhotuk, Robbie Russo, Damon Severson, Jonas Seigenthaler, Brendan Smith, Tobias Filin, Michael Vukojevic, Riley Walsh, Tyler Waterspoon

Of those 18, we can exclude Bratt and Gourley from the squad because they have AHL deals. They both came from rookie camp and, again, are here to help form three groups of six defenders. Hickey is with the Devils on PTO so he’ll need to sign if the Devils want him in New Jersey or Utica.

Some of these names are poised to be on the list: Hamilton, Severson, Graves, Signthaler, and Marino. That’s five already. Smith is signed to be a deep defender; He could be the sixth man but he could end up being more than the seventh man. What this means is that, on paper, there is at least one place open at Camp Ploen in New Jersey. Some can dismiss him immediately based on the lack of recalls and rebounds such as Groleau, Vukojevic, Wotherspoon and Russo. Willen could end up loaned to the Pelicans in La Liga before the start of the season.

There can be five people fighting in one place. They will be a major focus during the seven pre-season games in the next two weeks. Will Simon Nemec pick second overall and lead a spot in the National Hockey League right away? Bahl and Walsh auditioned for the minors and their ELCs expire after this season; So this camp is important to show that they have a future away from Utica. Same goes for Okhotiuk except that he’s a bit younger, he has another year left on his deal, and he might have a physical advantage that some think the defense needs. Is Hickey surprised when a PTO and a Veteran Warrior take the place? we will see.

Strikers (31): Nathan Bastian, Jesper Bokvist, Jesper Pratt, Graeme Clark, Jack Duggan, Josh Filemon (Prospect), Nolan Foot, Joe Gambardella, Mason Gertzen, Brian Halonen, Eric Howla, Nico Hescher, Alexander Holtz, Jack Hughes, Andreas Johnson, Sam Laberge (AHL), Michael McLeod, Dawson Mercer, Ondrej Balat, Xavier Barnett (AHL), Brian Benho, Zach Seneshin (PTO), Igor Sharangowicz, Nolan Stevens (AHL), Chase Stillman, Arne Talvetti, Thomas Tatar , Tice Thompson, Garrett Van Weyhe (AHL), Miles Wood, Fabian Zetterlund

Van Wyhe, Parent, and Filmon all come from this beginner’s camp list. Philemon, like Brennan, is one prospect from the WHL who essentially “gained” extra camp time as well as helping fill the front group. He has done well in challenging prospects. However, like Brennan, he will likely be brought back to the WHL team at Swift Current in the near future. After all, he has yet to sign with New Jersey. Parent, Van Wyhe, Stevens and Laberge are all in AHL deals, so they can’t make an NHL roster either. This leaves 26 attackers fighting for somewhere between 12 to 14 points.

Again, we can fill in most, if not all, of these points right away. Hughes, Hescher, Pratt, Mercer, Balat, Sharangowicz, Wood, Haula, Bastian, Tatar, Johnson, Buckvist, and MacLeod are the New Jersey Devils at present. There are 13 players. And as with defenders, we can exclude those who have signed NHL deals but are largely AHL players already. I’d consider Talvitie, Dugan, Clarke (who was the other player who didn’t play in the Prospects Challenge), Pinho and Gambardella in that group – five others already sorted. Chase Stillman is in ELC but not from the stunt camp, he is likely to return to the rookies for another season of 19. This leaves 7 strikers remaining.

However, it would be wise to carry the demons an extra second forward if/when injuries occur. This is where the hope lies for Holtz, Zetterlund and Thompson – who I think most important people want to see fighting for somewhere. This is also where Geertsen might come in if/when the team forms for reasons I still don’t understand. (Aside: It sucks at the thing you think it’s good at.) Bigfoot, Brian Halonen, and Sensation demo are long shots in this spot. There may be seven players battling to be the 13 or 14 attackers on the team speaking of how many players have been developed.

He also talks about the idea that perhaps the demons should move on soon. I can get behind it. There shouldn’t be anything significant, like moving one or both Tatar and Johnsson off. Or trade another player in the NHL. Just someone moved from New Jersey to make room for more space. It could even be demoted to Utica, even with the risks of assignment. I want to see some rooms because, waiting for the pre-season games, I’d like to see both Holtz And the Zetterlund be able to make a list of demons with seven men of defense.

The Devils’ 2022-23 season will begin on October 13. The competition to secure places on the roster begins today and will run through October 8 – the date of the Devils’ final pre-season match. Next week features two consecutive sets of pre-season and weekend games. I expect some big cuts to happen after those four games before the start of the season. Pay attention to who’s and who’s not in those games as well as how they play – not so much if they’re producing, but how they work on and off the disc. This will go a long way toward retaining or taking a place on the list.

Who are you excited to see at camp? Who has the best chances of making the squad right now who isn’t already an established player in the NHL? Please leave your answers and other ideas in the comments. thank you for reading.

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