While the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for the second time this preseason, something arguably more important was taking place. Simon Nemec didn’t play for New Jersey against the Flyers, but draft classmate Seamus Casey was playing for the University of Michigan and making magic happen on the ice.
Michigan hosted Simon Fraser University at Yost Ice Arena for their first exhibition game ahead of their upcoming season, and the game quickly turned into an ugly blowout thanks in large part to future Devils star Casey.
The 19-year-old started the game on Michigan’s second pair alongside Steven Holtz with UMich captain and Vancouver Canucks prospect Jacob Truscott commandeering the right side of the first pairing. Casey played a hand in his team’s first two goals, recording a short-handed secondary assist on Jackson Hallum’s tally that broke the deadlock and a primary assist on Kienan Draper’s deflection goal, which doubled their lead.
Casey would also record a primary power play assist on Rutger McGroarty’s goal to open the second period and followed that up with another primary assist from below the goal line on Frank Nazar’s tidy finish from the right circle.
Tom Fitzgerald and the Devils will no doubt be happy to see Casey contributing on both the penalty kill and the power play, but his goal-scoring prowess is no joke. With Michigan up 7-0 and the game well out of reach, the 2022 second-round pick received a pass from Hallum just in front of the left circle before maneuvering his way to the high slot and turning a crisp toe drag to a wrist shot and a goal all in one motion.
So, for those keeping score at home, that’s three primary assists, a secondary assist, and a goal for a Devils prospect who is supposedly a “defenseman.” At just 19 years old, Casey is probably at least one more year away from NHL hockey, but he can really do it all.
Where or when he plays for the Devils is a question that will need to be answered at another time. New Jersey will have Dougie Hamilton until 2028 and John Marino until 2027, and 2022 No. 2 overall pick Nemec will also factor in.
Whatever the Devils decide, they know they absolutely have to get Casey in Black and Red and on the ice, somehow, some way. The young star is simply too talented and too versatile to not be involved at the NHL level, even with Hamilton, Marino, and Nemec all currently ahead of him in the pecking order. Casey is next up in New Jersey.