Devils Sign Two to Entry-Level Contracts

The Devils signed two players to entry-level contracts over the last two days.

Forward Tyce Thompson signed on March 24. His contract will kick in this season and he will be reporting to the New Jersey Devils to start his quarantine.

He will wear number 12.

Thompson was the Devils’ sixth pick in the fourth round (96th overall) in 2019. Thompson is 21-years-old ad played three years at Providence College of Hockey East in the NCAA.

The press release notes that in his junior year, he was named the Friars’ captain. He had 11 goals/14 assists (25 points in 25 games played). That led the team in all categories.

His sophomore year, he was second in the Hockey East conference and third overall in the NCAA in scoring according to the press release. He had 19 goals/25 assists (44 points) over 34 games.

He also led that year tied for second in goals with 19 and power play points (eight goals, 13 assists for 21 points) in Hockey East.

He had 15 multiple point games which was tied for second in the nation. In addition, he had 27 games with at least one point which was tied for first as well.

Over his career with the Friars, he had 38 goals and 56 assists totaling 94 points to go with 65 PIM over 101 games. He also played with Devils’ prospect Patrick Moynihan while at Providence.

Thompson comes from an NHL family. His father Brent was a Los Angeles Kings pick in 1989 and his brother Tage was the 26th overall pick in 2016 by the St. Louis Blues. He was eventually traded, and plays for, the Buffalo Sabres.

He was a Hockey East Second All-Star Team member this past year and was selected to the NCAA (All-USCHO) Second Team member in 2019-20. That year, he was also named as a Hockey East Second Team All-Star.

Previous to Providence, Thompson played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL where he had 12 goals/20 assists totaling 32 points over 63 games. He also had a goal over seven USHL playoff games.

The other prospect signed was forward Aarne Talvitie. His contract will kick in in 2021-22. For the remainder of this season, he will play in the AHL with the Binghamton Devils.

Talvitie, is 22-years-old and spent three years with Penn State in the Big 10 (NCAA).

This season, he had 13 points, good for fifth on the Nittany Lions (seven goals/six assists), The press release notes that he was voted by his teammates to be an alternate captain this season.

He finished his NCAA career with 18 goals/30 assists totaling 48 points over 68 games.

The Espoo, Finland native also represented Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Junior U20 Championship and captained that team to winning a gold medal.

Talvitie was eighth overall in scoring in that tournament with four goals/three assists for seven points in seven games.

A Devils-Centric Recap of the World Junior Summer Showcase

The 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase ended this past Saturday with the USA being edged by Canada 6-5 and Sweden defeating Finland 5-3.

The games were played at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, British Columbia and featured those four teams playing a series of games from July 30 to August 4.

The Devils had five players in the showcase, including Fabian Zetterlund of Sweden, newly-drafted Ty Smith of Canada, Reilly Walsh of the US, Aarne Talvitie of Finland and Eetu Pakkila of Finland. This showcase acts as a kind of warmup to the World Junior Championship, to be played this December and January in Victoria and Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Zetterlund of Sweden played in five games in the tournament, notching two goals and six penalty minutes. Those two goals placed him second on the team in goals, and tied with three other players for third in total scoring with two points.

Canada’s Smith played in all three of their games and notched two assists for two points. That tied him for second in team scoring with seven others. Note that the US and Canada had split squads with Canada having a “red” and “white” team and the US having a “white” and “blue” team in addition to their main teams. Some players got playing time on multiple teams.

Reilly Walsh of Team USA played in five games, netting an assist. The lone assist put him in second place in scoring tied with 11 other players in the short-format tournament.

As for the Finns, Talvitie was the player of the tournament for the Devils, potting four goals in five games to pace all Finnish skaters in scoring. He also had two penalty minutes. Pakkila played in four games but did not register on the scoresheet.

Overall Ty Smith was getting rave reviews from people who saw every game, as was Talvitie. We will find out more about these players as training camp gets underway next month.

The results of the tournament saw USA-Blue fall to Sweden 3-1 and USA-White defeat Finland 5-2 (Talvitie had a power play goal in this one) on July 30. July 31 had Finland get by Sweden 4-3 in a shootout (Talvitie had a goal and missed in his shootout attempt) while USA-Blue beat Canada-White 3-2 and USA-White beat Canada-Red 7-5.

The tournament proper got started on August 2 with USA defeating Sweden 5-4 (Zetterlund scored in the third period of this one for the Swedes) in overtime and Canada notching past FInland 4-3 also in OT. Talvitie scored a clutch shorthanded goal in the third period that tied things up at three, eventually forcing the overtime period.

On August 3, the US beat Finland 2-1. Here, Walsh had the primary assist on a power play goal by Grant Mismash in the second period. Also, Sweden fell to Canada 4-1. Smith had the primary assist on Alex Formenton’s goal with three seconds left in the second period.

On August 4, the final day of the tournament, Canada defeated Team USA 6-5 while Sweden took out Finland 5-3. In the Canada-USA game, Smith had the secondary assist on a first period power play goal by Nick Suzuki and Talvitie had a first period power play goal in the Finland-Sweden game.

As you can see, this is a very evenly matched series of games which bodes well for the competitive nature of the World Juniors this winter.