Takeaways from the Devils' Prospects Challenge opener vs. Senators
Alex Chauvancy shared his thoughts on who impressed, and who didn't, in the tournament opener.
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By Alex Chauvancy (@AlexC_THW)
The New Jersey Devils (unofficially) played their first game of the 2023-24 season Friday, falling 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators in the Prospects Challenge opener.
Though the result wasn't what the Devils wanted, it was still nice to see hockey again. The final score doesn't matter much, and there was still some good to take away from the Devils' first of three games at this year's Prospects Challenge.
Here are some talking points from the opening contest of the tournament.
Nemec was as advertised
With the Devils electing to hold Luke Hughes out of the Prospects Challenge ahead of training camp beginning next week, Šimon Nemec instantly became the team's most notable prospect attending the tournament.
Nemec was as advertised against the Senators. He collected two assists on the power play, but he was one of the Devils' most active players throughout the game.
From the get-go, Nemec was jumping into the play offensively, creating scoring chances for his teammates. He displayed his ability to walk the blue line and create space for himself or open up a shooting lane. He showed great patience on Josh Filmon's goal, waiting until there was a lane to feed the puck toward the blue paint:
Nemec isn't an elite skater, but he showed efficiency in transition and was very comfortable with the puck on his stick. I thought he held up well defensively and made good decisions under pressure.
Colin Miller, who the Devils acquired from the Dallas Stars this summer, will be the team's No. 3 defenseman on the right side. But Nemec will make things interesting in camp, even if he's already ticketed for a spot in the AHL with the Utica Comets.
Brennan struggled in net
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