Built To Be Champions The 1995 New Jersey Devils

“The championship to New Jersey! The Devils win the Stanley Cup!” That was Mike “Doc” Emerick’s call on FOX, when it was all over and the New Jersey Devils were crowned 1995 Stanley Cup champions. Ah yes but how were they molded into a championship squad? For that, we take a look at how a roster was built from a team on the cusp of a Cup to one that finally reached the mountain top.

Devils Draft Picks

  • Martin Brodeur – 1990, 1st round (#20 overall). In 1995, Brodeur posted 19 wins, a 2.45 goals against average and three shutouts, across 40 games. Against Detroit in the Final, Brodeur only yielded seven goals over four games.

    • Sergei Brylin – 1992, 2nd round (#42 overall). When the lockout ended, Brylin was called up from AHL Albany and chipped in with six goals in 26 games. During Game 4 of the Final against the Red Wings, Brylin lit the lamp and doubled the Devils’ lead to 4-2, at 7:46 of the third period.
    • Ken Daneyko – 1982, 1st round (#18 overall). The longtime Devils great, who paid his dues through the lean times, finally got a taste of glory. Daneyko skates in all 20 Playoff contests for New Jersey and racked up 22 penalty minutes.
    • Kevin Dean – 1987, 5th round (#86 overall). After Captaining the Albany River Rats to the Calder Cup, Dean also had his name etched on Lord Stanley. Dean played 17 regular season games on the Devils blue line and added two helpers in three postseason contests.
    • Jim Dowd – 1987, 8th round (#149 overall). The Brick, NJ native, whose high school number nine is on display at “The Rock,” played in eleven Playoff games, equaling his Devils’ number that season. Yes it takes four games but Dowd all but clinched the Cup with his goal in Game 2 at Joe Louis Arena. Dowd’s backhanded marker in the third frame, gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish and allowed the Devils to take all the momentum back to the Meadowlands.
    • Bruce Driver – 1981, 6th round (#108 overall). Another longtime Devil and Alternate Captain, who was drafted by the franchise when it was the Colorado Rockies. In Game 3, Bruce put the Devils in the Driver’s seat, scoring the first of what would be five consecutive New Jersey goals, en route to a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings.
    • Bill Guerin – 1989, 1st round (#5 overall). Guerin potted 12 goals in 48 regular season games. In the Playoffs, Guerin totaled eleven points in 20 games. Guerin led all Devils with 30 penalty minutes in the postseason.
    • John MacLean – 1983, 1st round (#6 overall). Like the aforementioned Daneyko and Driver, MacLean saw virtually everything with the Devils. MacLean netted 17 goals in 46 regular season games. During the postseason, Johnny Mac posted 18 points in 20 games.
    • Chris McAlpine – 1990, 7th round (#137 overall). During the lockout, McAlpine played 48 games for AHL Albany, before appearing in 24 more games for New Jersey, registering three assists and 17 penalty minutes.
  • Scott Niedermayer – 1991, 1st round (#3 overall). Niedermayer netted one of the more impressive goals in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. In that game, Niedermayer skated coast to coast, shot the puck off the end board, got his own rebound and bested Detroit netminder Mike Vernon, to tie the game at 2-2, midway through the third. Niedermayer had eleven points in 20 postseason games.

  • Mike Peluso – 1984, 10th round (#190 overall). Part of the vaunted “Crash Line,” Peluso paced all Devils’ in regular season penalty minutes, racking up 167, across 46 games. In 20 Playoff games, Peluso notched a goal and picked up a pair of helpers, to go along with eight penalty minutes.

    • Brian Rolston – 1991, 1st round (#11 overall). After playing 18 games for Albany, during the lockout, Rolston posted 18 points in 40 games for New Jersey. Over six games in the Playoffs, Rolston netted a pair of goals and added an assist.
    • Chris Terreri – 1983, 5th round (#85 overall). Before Brodeur, Terreri was the man in net for New Jersey. Backing up that season, Terreri played 15 games and posted a 2.53 goals against average.
    • Valeri Zelepukin – 1990, 11th round (#221 overall). In 18 postseason contests, Zelepukin registered a goal and two helpers, plus 12 penalty minutes.

Free Agent Signings

    • Bobby Carpenter – Signed as a free agent from the Washington Capitals, on September 30, 1993. A solid faceoff man and checking forward for New Jersey, Carpenter posted 19 points in 41 games and five more in 17 postseason outings.

Transferred Compensation

  • Scott Stevens – Acquired on September 3, 1991, as compensation from the St. Louis Blues for their free agent signing of Brendan Shanahan. Stevens Captained the Devils to the Cup and as always, was a force to be reckoned with. Playing all 48 in the regular season, Stevens piled up 56 penalty minutes. Appearing in all 20 Playoff games, Stevens dished out more punishment with 24 penalty minutes to go along with his goal and seven assists. Stevens absolutely set the tone for the Devils.

  • Randy McKay -Transferred to New Jersey on September 9, 1991, from the Detroit Red Wings, as compensation for their free agent signing of Troy Crowder. Yet another “Crash Liner,” McKay was fearless for the Devils. In the regular season, McKay posted 44 penalty minutes in 33 games. During the Playoffs, McKay upped his offensive game as well, recording 12 points and eleven penalty minutes in 19 games. Along with a clutch goal against Boston, McKay burned his old team with a goal in Game 3 against Detroit.


    • Tommy Albelin – Traded to New Jersey, from the Quebec Nordiques, for the Devils’ 4th round choice (Niklas Andersson) in the 1989 Entry Draft, on December 12, 1988. A steady and solid defenceman, Albelin’s five regular season goals led all New Jersey blue liners. Along with playing in all 48 regular season games, Albelin suited up for all 20 in the Playoffs, recording eight points.
  • Neal Broten – Traded to New Jersey, from the Dallas Stars, for Corey Millen, on February 27, 1995. Broten was a key piece to the puzzle in New Jersey. In 20 Playoff games, Broten recorded seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points. Broten posted the eventual winner in Game 3 against the Red Wings. Then in Game 4, Broten became the first American player to score a series clinching goal, netting two tallies against Detroit.

    • Shawn Chambers – Acquired by New Jersey, from the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Danton Cole, for Alexander Semak and Ben Hankinson, on March 14, 1995. During the postseason, Chambers provided a boost on the blue line, scoring four goals, including a pair of markers in Game 4 of the Final against the Red Wings.
    • Tom Chorske – Traded to New Jersey with Stephane Richer, from the Montreal Canadiens, for Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson, on September 20, 1991. It isn’t often the case that two clubs make a deal with players that contribute big time to a Cup title for each franchise but it was true in this case. Chorske potted ten goals in 42 regular season contests. In the Playoffs, Chorske posted six points in 17 games.
    • Danton Cole – Acquired by New Jersey, from the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Shawn Chambers, for Alexander Semak and Ben Hankinson, on March 14, 1995. Cole notched a goal and eight penalty minutes in 12 regular season games.


  • Bobby Holik – Traded to New Jersey, with the Hartford Whalers’ 2nd round choice (Jay Pandolfo) in the 1993 Entry Draft, for Sean Burke and Eric Weinrich, on August 28, 1992. Also a member of “The Crash Line,” Holik was an intimidating agitator for the Devils that season. Holik recorded ten goals and ten helpers in 48 regular season games. Then in 20 Playoff games, Holik notched four goals, four assists and 22 penalty minutes. Holik’s goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, put the Devils up 5-0 in an eventual 5-2 victory.

  • Claude Lemieux – Acquired by New Jersey, from Montreal, for Sylvain Turgeon, on September 4, 1990. Lemieux always stepped his game up in the postseason and as a result, won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1995. Playing in all 20 Playoff games, Lemieux led the Devils with 13 goals. Lemieux’s third period goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Detroit, gave New Jersey a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead that they would never relinquish.

    • Stephane Richer – Traded to New Jersey with Tom Chorske, from the Montreal Canadiens, for Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson, on September 20, 1991. In the regular season, Richer’s 23 tallies and 39 points, paced the Devils. Then in the Playoffs, Richer topped the club with 21 points in 19 games.


Also on that club were some players who didn’t get their names engraved in the Cup: David Emma, Jaroslav Modry, Jason Smith, Reid Simpson, Viacheslav Fetisov.