Here are some things to take from the first full day from today’s edition of New Jersey Devils 2013-14 Training Camp (all headlines are per Tom Gulitti):
- Although Loktionov confirmed this to Tom yesterday, it was reported late.
C Andrei Loktionov confirmed to me today that he turned down a $3 million offer to play in the KHL before he re-signed with the Devils.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) September 12, 2013
My Spin: This is the commitment I love to see in players. They have a contract here so they want to honor that contract and in Loktionov’s case, he said he would rather be here.
- First practice group: G Scott Wedgewood and Martin Brodeur. D Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky, Brandon Burlon, Damon Severson, Seth Helgeson, Ramen Hrabenka. F Adam Henrique, Andrei Loktionov, Ryan Carter, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder, Reid Boucher, Harri Pesonen, Darcy Zajac, Ryan Kujawinski, Chris McKelvie, Ben Thomson, and Joe Whitney.
- First group lines: Clowe-Henrique-Ryder, Whitney-Loktionov-Boucher, Carter-Kujawinski-Pesonen, McKelvie-D.Zajac-Thomson.
My Spin: Pete DeBoer made it explicitly clear that these line combos do not account for chemistry or anything of that nature. He said the proper time for that will be during preseason. It isn’t much of a surprise to see Henrique centering Clowe and Ryder though.
- 2nd practice group: G Cory Schneider and Anthony Brodeur. D Mark Fayne, Anton Volchenkov, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill, Corbin McPherson, Dan Kelly. F Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr, Stefan Matteau, Mike Sislo, Travis Zajac, Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, David Wohlberg, Ben Johnson, Graham Black, Myles Bell.
- 2nd group lines: Elias-Zajac-Jagr, Tedenby-Josefson-Sislo, Matteau-Wohlberg-Bell, Johnson, Black.
My Spin: Seeing Zajac centering Elias and Jagr isn’t a surprise either. Expect that to be the top line once the season starts. Jaromir Jagr did leave early due to “general soreness” and was not available to the media. The injury is reportedly unrelated to the media unavailability.
- Final practice group: G Maxime Clermont and Keith Kinkaid. D Andy Greene, Adam Larsson, Peter Harrold, Alex Urbom, Reece Scarlett, Harry Young. F Dainius Zubrus, Stephen Gionta, Steven Bernier, Rostislav Olesz, Krystofer Barch, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Riley Boychuk, Remy Giftopoulos.
- Not all of the lines were specified by Tom Gulitti. One line that he did mention was Dainius Zubrus centering Olesz and Bernier.
My Spin: Keep in mind DeBoer said that these lines aren’t final. I still found it interesting that Zubrus was at center. Gulitti did mention that the Olesz-Zubrus-Bernier line would be a big one size-wise. I still hold on to the belief that Zubrus will move to RW once the season starts.
With Zubrus playing center, that would mean Loktionov, Carter, and Josefson fight it out for the last spot with Loktionov almost definitely earning the spot. Carter and Josefson are both 1-way this year so it would be interesting to see what would happen from there.
Stay tuned for more Training Camp Roundups at Pucks and Pitchforks!