Devils Open Prospects Challenge With OT Win Over Buffalo

Tonight at the KeyBank Rink at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, the prospects of the New Jersey Devils kicked off their 2017 Prospects Challenge experience by taking on the Buffalo Sabres’ young guns.

The teams fought to a 3-3 tie through regulation with the Devils prevailing 4-3 in overtime.

The game was streamed over the Devils’ website and I did have some technical difficulties, missing a portion of the beginning of the second period. But overall, from what I did see, both teams had good pace and looked very good. Will Butcher, who was seeing his first NHL action played well, even though he was booed each time he touched the puck by the scorned Buffalo faithful.

New Jersey was wearing their new white away jerseys. I figured they would look better once they were seen on ice, but that was not really the case. We will see how the red home jerseys look on-ice when the Devils get a chance to wear them.

The Devils looked good throughout most of the first period, dictating the pace and really impressing on the power play. The coaching staff wants a good puck possession team and they were doing a fine job of that early on.

However, the Sabres took over the play in the late second period and did not really let up, save for a few pockets here and there, for the rest of the game. The Devils were able to push play in the early to mid third period and, behind 3-2, nearly tied things a few times with some scrambles in front of the Buffalo net. They would eventually tie the game at three to send it to the four-on-four OT period where the Devils won it.

I appologize for a lack of specifics. The stream was set up so that it was the team’s film feed. There was no commentary or graphics. I was able to keep track of the score and could see the game clock at one end of the rink, but could not hear the public address announcer to get who scored and when.

But the Devils did look good coming out of this one and their next game in this mini tournament comes tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 PM against the Penguins.

Devils Set Roster for Prospects Challenge

Once again this year, the Devils will be participating in the Prospects Challenge, a round-robin mini tournament featuring young players from the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in addition to the Devils. The Challenge takes place from September 8 to 11 at HarborCenter in Buffalo.

The Devils put out a press release today setting their roster for the tournament and it is a nice lineup. Goaltenders include Ken Appleby, Evan Cormier and Mackenzie Blackwood. The team will send ten defensemen: newly signed NCAA talent Will Butcher, Michael Kapla, Steven Santini, Joshua Jacobs, Yaroslav Dyblenko, Jacob MacDonald, Colton White, Colby Sissons, Jocktan Chainey and Nicolas Guay. Forwards will feature number one overall draft pick Nico Hischier, Nick Lappin, Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian, Blake Speers, John Quenneville, Brandon Gignac, Brandon Baddock, Ryan Kujawinski, Jan Mandat, Austin Cangelosi, Nikita Popugaev, Jesper Bratt and Marian Studenic.

The press release also included the Devils’ schedule which will see them take on the Sabres on September 8 at 7 PM, the Penguins on Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 PM and the Bruins on Monday, September 11 at 12 noon.

This event is open to the public at HarborCenter in Buffalo and tickets are available at the Sabres’ website. If you are a Devils fan in the area, you might want to check it out to see some of the young talent the Devils will be icing for the coming season and beyond.