Devils Add Seven During 2012 NHL Draft


The 2012 NHL Draft is in the books and the New Jersey Devils organization added seven members during the two-day event held in Pittsburgh. F-Stefan Matteau was the Devils first-round pick (29th overall) and the team added D-Damon Severson (2nd Rnd; 60th overall), F-Ben Johnson (3rd Rnd; 90th overall), LW-Ben Thomson (4th Rnd; 96th overall), C-Graham Black (5th Rnd; 135th overall), C-Alex Kerfoot (5th Rnd; 150th overall) and C-Artur Gavrus (6th Rnd; 180th overall).

Stefan Matteau:
“It’s obviously pretty surprising given the history of my name, but I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Stephane Matteau on Stefan:
“Stef is definitely bigger than I was when I was his age. He’s got a much better shot, he’s a much more physical player. I think Devils fans will love him the way he plays already. I think there’s an upside in his game… I was a soft 6-foot-4 at times, but I’m sure the Devils will love him.”

Devils Director of Scouting David Conte:
“It was a very easy decision in the fact that he was the next guy on the list. As much as it may look one way, it was entirely predicated on his ability as a player.”

“He was a player we wanted, it was a style of player we needed, it was a perfect fit and we’re thrilled to have him and he’s thrilled to be with us.”

“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s aggressive, he’s an excellent skater. Not to demean his father, who broke our hearts one year, but he’s a better skater than his father, he’s well-schooled in hockey, he understands the professional hockey life. He’s lived it his whole life. We’re very happy to welcome him to our family.”

Damon Severson:
“I think my all-around defensive game is coming along well. I know they have lots of guys in their system here that are going to push me. I’m definitely going to work as hard as I can this summer to push for a spot with New Jersey.”

“I try to pride myself on my offensive game. When I came to Kelowna, they taught me so much on the defensive side of things. I’m more of an offensive defenseman, but when they need me to be a shut-down guy, I definitely do that.”

“I try to play like Shea Weber. He’s played with the Kelowna Rockets before. He’s been through the system I’m going through now and I try to play like him as much as possible.”

“We really were very, very happy with him. We thought he was a high-end defenseman, very comparable to some of the ones who went before him and some other ones after. We did all our homework on him, that’s what I’m really happy about.”

Ben Johnson:
“I watched [the Devils] this playoff run, and there’s a lot of guys I know that are there. [Adam] Henrique that I skated with back in Windsor last year, and my cousin (Blake Pietila) got drafted there last year. It’s just a great time for me right now, being here, soaking this in, here.”

“I’m more of a power forward-type. I like to play with a physical edge to my game and I like to use my speed a lot. Also, I can put the puck in the net if needed.”

“A year ago… I dreamt of it, but right now it’s a just a dream come true for me. I know this is reality here. I’m just thrilled right now, I can’t even explain.”

“Ben Johnson’s outstanding. We were really, really happy with him. He’s from Michigan and plays in Windsor. He’s a great, great kid… he’s adjusted well to junior hockey and we expect him to go on to do great things for us in the future.”

Ben Thomson (
“Thomson is a power forward who has increased his offensive contribution since his rookie season. He uses his size and determination to take the puck to the net and has been counted on to provide scoring chances for his teammates.

Thomson’s play down low in the offensive zone often results in puck possession for his team. He has been able to showcase his physical edge and willingness to stick up for his teammates.”

Conte on Graham Black:
“Graham Black was a player that has grown exponentially over the last year tremendously as a player and physically. We were really happy with him and did all our homework on him as well.”

Conte on Alex Kerfoot:
“…He’s a longer-term project, but a gifted player as well.”

Artur Gavrus:
“The New Jersey Devils… it’s a favorite team now for me. I was so excited before, but I feel great now.”

“I think it’s a great organization. They play a lot of European players like Elias, Kovalchuk, Zubrus. I think I will get a chance to play in New Jersey, too.”

“He was rated in the first round by Central Scouting. He got a little hurt late in the year. He’s not a big guy, but he’s a talented guy with a lot of heart.”


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