Rookie Camp closes with Red Team's 3-2 win
Mike Hoeffel scored twice Friday to secure a 3-2 win for the Red Team on the final day of the Devils' 2012 Rookie Camp. The week of practices, scrimmages and off-ice conditioning was an opportunity for the club's prospects to work on their development during the offseason.
"All the reports have been that everyone came in good shape," head coach Peter DeBoer said. "There's a lot of competition. It looks like a lot of depth, especially on defense and in net, as far as NHL prospects."
Five of this year's draft picks were in attendance, including first-round selection Stefan Matteau. He scored for White in Tuesday's scrimmage, a 3-1 Red victory.
Damon Severson (2nd round/60th overall), Ben Johnson (3rd/90th), Ben Thomson (4th/96th), and Graham Black (5th/135th) also suited up as Devils for the first time since being drafted in June.
"I think I'm on the right track, I just have to keep working hard," Matteau said earlier in the week. "I've worked hard (to get) this far and I can't stop now."
The biggest news was Tuesday's announcement naming Scott Stevens and Matt Shaw as assistant coaches. The completed staff hopes to guide the Devils to a defense of their Eastern Conference title when the puck drops on 2012-13.
"I feel very fortunate that we were able to fill those holes with the quality of people we have with Scott and Matt," DeBoer said. "When you lose good people like Larry [Robinson] and Adam [Oates] and the big role they played for us, the pool of guys to replace those type of people isn't real deep. For us to be able to add Scott Stevens, who's a Hall of Fame player and has been around the organization, understands, having been in the coaching room with us last year, what we want, I think is seamless and as easy a transition to replacing Larry as we can find.
"In Matt Shaw's case, he's replacing Adam Oates, who was in charge of our power play. This is a guy who ran San Jose's power play the last three years, and they've been top three in the League the entire time. To get a guy of that quality that's available sitting there and wants to come and work for you, I think we feel very fortunate about both of those additions."
While it's still a few weeks away, training camp is the next stop on the road to the new season.
"The nice thing for me in training camp this year is these guys understand what we want now," DeBoer said. "We can hit the ground running instead of starting at square one."