NEWARK, NJ – Mid-August is a time when New Jersey Devils Rookie Camp is a month in the past, while Devils Training Camp is a month ahead. Once September arrives, players will start to file into Newark, gearing up for the 2013-14 season.
One storyline from last month’s Rookie Camp was the depth the Devils have on the blue line. Included in that sentiment is 19-year-old Damon Severson, who will be trying to crack New Jersey’s top 23 in October.
“I think there is a lot of great defense prospects here and being named in the same breath is an accomplishment,” Severson said during Rookie Camp. “But, you know you want to be one of the best in camp and leave with an impression with the coaching staff and Lou [Lamoriello]. You want to make sure they know you came to camp ready to go and you want to force them to have to let go of you during main camp.”
A second-round pick during the 2012 NHL Draft, Severson has appeared in 196 games with Kelowna (WHL) during the past four seasons. His numbers include 21 goals and 85 assists for 106 points, a plus-55 rating and 207 penalty minutes.
He joined Albany for a pair of games during the end of last season and contributed a pair of assists.
“I thought it was a great experience being called up after the season in Kelowna, which unfortunately ended there,” Severson said. “But, I got an opportunity to play a few games in Albany and I felt like I fit in there and I didn’t feel out of place at all, so it was an awesome experience and great to get my feet wet definitely.”
Severson added that experiencing the AHL game has ignited his ambition to make it to the NHL.
“Definitely it shoots your confidence up and I think you just have to stay at an even keel,” He said. “You know you can play at that level, but at the same time you want to be better than everyone at that level to get to the next level.
“When you’re able to play at that level it just makes you want to get even that much better so you can one day play in the NHL.”
By the Numbers
Severson isn’t trying to improve on his own. While training in Saskatoon, his trainer shares his desire for the NHL.
“I have a great trainer there,” Severson said. “He’s pushed me so much and he works me hard. He almost wants me to be in the NHL more than I want to be in the NHL, that’s kind of how he works and that means a lot to me.”