Welcome to the 2016-17 NHL campaign for the New Jersey Devils. It begins with training camp and preseason. Earlier today, the team announced their roster for camp on the Devils’ official (and newly re-done) website. Almost all players will report tomorrow for physicals with on-ice practices to begin on Friday. Cory Schneider, Kyle Palmieri, and head coach John Hynes will still be with Team USA for one more game at the World Cup of Hockey. They could be back before their preseason games begin next Tuesday. The preseason begins next Tuesday. It’s finally here.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the roster from the team’s official website.
Goalies (7): Ken Appleby, MacKenzie Blackwood, Evan Cormier, Keith Kinkaid, Anders Lindback, Cory Schneider, Scott Wedgewood
Lindback is here on a professional try-out (PTO). Everyone else except for Cormier is signed.
Defensemen (16): Yohann Auvitu, Andy Greene, Brandon Gormley, Seth Helgeson, Joshua Jacobs, Ben Lovejoy, Andrew MacWilliam, Jon Merrill, John Moore, Vojtech Mozik, Steve Santini, Reece Scarlett, Damon Severson, Colby Sissons, Karl Stollery, Colton White
If the name Sissons sticks out to you, then it may be because Brian profiled him for the 2016 draft. Or you’re a Swift Current/WHL fan. No, the Devils didn’t draft him. Nobody did. He’s here on a try-out. Everyone else is signed. Colton White signed his ELC today along with Blake Speers per Andrew Gross at Fire & Ice. We’ll see how much Merrill can do given that he’s coming off shoulder surgery.
Listed Centers (10): Blake Coleman, Vernon Fiddler, Adam Henrique, Jacob Josefson, Jan Mandat, Michael McLeod, Rod Pelley, Kevin Rooney, Pavel Zacha, Travis Zajac
These players are all listed as ‘C’s; they may end up playing elsewhere. We’ll see.
Listed Center/Wingers (9): Joseph Blandisi, Carter Camper, Brian Gibbons, Brandon Gignac, Blake Pietila, John Quenneville, Ben Sexton, Blake Speers, Ryan Kujawinski
These players are listed as ‘C/W’s. I’d expect them to play wing ahead of center; but that will depend on usage. Hopefully some can play on the right side (see below). Here are some additional notes: Speers signed his ELC earlier today. The team also signed Ben Sexton to a one-year AHL contract earlier today. Gibbons is here on a PTO.
Listed Left Wingers (8): Brandon Baddock, Reid Boucher, Michael Cammalleri, Luke Gazdic, Taylor Hall, Sergey Kalinin, Ben Thomson, Miles Wood
These players are listed as ‘LW’s and I’m just going to say: Taylor Hall, Taylor Hall, Taylor Hall.
Listed Right Wingers (6): Nathan Bastian, Beau Bennett, Nick Lappin, Max Novak, Kyle Palmieri, Devante Smith-Pelly
These players are the ‘RW’s and that there are just six points to a positional need up front.
In total, there are 56 players in camp. You’ll notice Patrik Elias is not involved. He’s still recovering from surgery and his future remains unknown. I suspect if he does get invovled, it’ll be during the 2016-17 season similar to Scott Gomez’s second appearance with the franchise. In any case, expect most of 56 players in camp to get at least one preseason game as the first night is a split-squad game. We’ll see how everyone does as the the practice reports come and the games are played. Best of luck to everyone in Devils camp. As for everyone who is reading, welcome back to hockey.