New Jersey Devils: 5 Best PTOs In Franchise History
The 2022-23 training camp for the New Jersey Devils is underway. The training camp roster was announced on Thursday, and there are only two Professional Tryouts that have been made public. Forward Zach Senyshyn and defenseman Thomas Hickey are coming to camp to see if they can win a job with the big club, or at the very least earn an AHL contract with the Utica Comets. PTO’s have had varying results for the Devils over the years. From the senior outcasts that Lou Lamoriello would bring in to the former Penguins that would come in during Ray Shero’s tenure, there have been multiple PTO’s that worked out during the post-lockout era.
Five of them stick out amongst the rest, however. A few contributed to the 2012 Stanley Cup run, while a few others came in and won the fans hearts as well as turned some heads. The likes of Ruslan Fedotenko and Mathieu Darche will not be on this list as they never earned a contract. However, the best player the Devils had on a PTO also never earned a contract with the Devils. He went on to do bigger and better things with a certain rival. But we will get to that. Here are the top five players the Devils had on a PTO.
5. Jordin Tootoo
Okay, this writer is pretty biased when it comes to their favorite player in Jordin Tootoo. However, with all that being said, having a player come in on a PTO and last more than a season with the team is pretty impressive. During the 2014 off-season Tootoo was announced as a PTO for a team that was already stock full of veterans. Along with Tootoo, Fedotenko, Mike Komisarek, Tomas Kaberle, Ryan Carter, and another player who is next on this list were offered PTO’s. There was a lot of competition in camp, however Tootoo set himself above the rest of the group. His tenacity and heavy play gave the Devils something they did not have at the time.
Tootoo would play 134 games with the Devils, scoring 14 goals and had 24 points in those games. It was not his scoring touch that then general manager Lou Lamoriello was seeking, he also accumulated 174 penalty minutes in his tenure. Tootoo kept his reputation from Nashville as a teammate protecting speedster that would drop the gloves at any point for his team. There were two different things that stick out for Tootoo’s time.
First, he did not always wear his patented #22 on his jersey. His first year with the Devils, he would wear the number 20 as then defenseman Eric Gelinas had the aforementioned 22. It was the first time he would not wear 22 as a full time NHLer. When Lamoriello left for the Maple Leafs the following season, new GM Ray Shero gave Tootoo a one year extension and his usual number. The second instance that stood out while Tootoo played for the Devils was the amount of power play time then coach John Hynes gave him.
Towards the end of his Devils career, fans started to clamor for him to not see special teams time as it did not work out the way players and fans would have hoped for. He did score two power play goals. Tootoo’s time in New Jersey was short lived during a time where the team would like for you to forget about what happened to them. Tootoo played one more year in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks before retiring at the age of 34.