Devils Lose to Bruins at Prospects Challenge; Lock up Severson to Six-Year Deal

The Devils played the final game of the 2017 Prospects Challenge earlier today and fell, 9-3 to the Boston Bruins.

Although it was an ugly score, Amanda Stein, writing for the Devils’ website, found many positives from the game. She said that “Blake Speers scored for a second consecutive game” which shows some development in his offensive game. She also mentioned that Nick Lappin scored a goal and had a fight against Sean Kuraly of the Bruins. He fell an assist short of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

With the Prospects Challenge out of the way, the team (veterans and rookies alike) will convene in Newark for the Devils’ training camp – set to open September 15, this Friday.

One Devil who will be joining the group with his signature newly affixed to a six year contract is Damon Severson. He signed on today for those six years with an average annual salary of $4,166,700. He would have been a restricted free agent otherwise. This takes him through the 2022-23 season and the Devils’ website press release breaks the salary down as follows: 2017-18: $2,500,000; 2018-19: $3,000,000; 2019-20: $4,675,000; 2020-21: $4,675,000; 2021-22: $5,050,000; 2022-23: $5,100,000.

Severson is a good, puck moving defenseman that brings an element of offense to the blueline. Having a player like him along with Will Butcher will give the Devils something they have not had on defense in recent seasons. Locking him up long-term was a good move by Ray Shero. Shero mentioned in the press release that “Damon brings an important dimension to our hockey club and he is a young defenseman that we are excited to work with. This deal shows our ownership’s commitment in what we continue to build here. We look forward to helping Damon continue to grow and develop as a player.”

Severson is just 23 years-old and has 203 NHL regular season games under his belt, all with New Jersey. The contract will take him until he is 29 years-old and just entering his athletic prime. He will still be learning and developing into the kind of blueliner the Devils need: someone who is not afraid to take offensive chances when necessary.

His career totals include nine goals and 60 assists for 69 points and 112 penalty minutes according to the press release. The Melville, Saskatchewan native played junior hockey with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League and was the 60th overall pick (the Devils’ second) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Devils Fall to Penguins at Prospects Challenge

The Devils came into game two of the 2017 Prospects Challenge off of a 4-3 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres in their first game. They took on the Pittsburgh Penguins today and lost, 6-2.

There was a considerably smaller crowd on hand this afternoon as compared to last night, considering the earlier start time and the lack of the Sabres in the game. However, there was a good contingent of Devils fans who made the trip, including a large group in the corner, camera-side, at the end of the rink where the Devils attack twice. They were there for the first period and then dispersed, to be seen around the rink at varying times.

New Jersey did look a little bit sloppy, especially in their own end, at times. But you have to remember that this is a learning experience for these kids. It is a short series of games and they have not been playing together much outside of developmental camp. Many of them looked solid defensively and the offensive chances will come from there. Add to that that the Pittsburgh goaltender played well, making some nice stops in close, especially in the second period, and it just was not the Devils’ night.

The game did feature a scrap late in the game, that involved Steven Santini from the Devils. It was a spirited affair and nice to see Santini step up when challenged.

Once again, I appologize for lack of details. The stream was in and out for me for most of the game and got kind of blurry at times. Hopefully, things will be better on Monday at noon when the Devils take on the Boston Bruins in the final game of this year’s Prospects Challenge.