Takeaways From the New Jersey Devils’ 3-on-3 Camp

On Wednesday night during free agency, I attended the New Jersey Devils‘ 3-on-3 season ticket holder event, which was an opportunity for many Devils fans to see the organization’s top prospect and the team’s 2022 draft picks for the first time, and many things stood out to me. Here are a few takeaways from the round-robin.

Stillman Headlines Impressive Names on Display

When Chase Stillman was selected by the Devils in the first round, many thought he was a reach. However, from what I saw at camp, he was all over the place for Team Brodeur. He made passes, scored goals, and was an overall menace on the ice. Last season, split between the Sudbury Wolves and Peterborough Petes, Stillman put up 49 points in 59 games. The expectation is that he will be in Utica full-time next season, where the Comets are coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history.

Chase Stillman Sudbury Wolves
Chase Stillman during his time with the Sudbury Wolves (Photo by Robert Lefebvre /OHL Images)

Another name that caught my eye was 2020 fourth-rounder Jaromir Pytlik. He was a huge factor on the ice, creating opportunities and putting the puck in the net. However, he was most noticeable along the boards and checking his future teammates. Pytlik came from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, putting up 59 points in 50 games in 2019-2020 before COVID shut down the OHL season early. He’s spent the past two seasons in various Czech leagues.

Both Stillman and Pytlik were on Team Brodeur, easily the strongest in the tournament. They defeated each team and, despite losing in the championship, looked like a strong, cohesive unit throughout. The netminding duo of Tyler Brennan and Cole Brady impressed, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Brady can do at Arizona State next season.

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The biggest surprise was how much Team Stevens struggled. Named after the first player to have his jersey retired by the organization, Team Stevens had both Simon Nemec and Alexander Holtz and was led by Nico Daws in net. They dropped each of their first two games and failed to make the final. With that said, Holtz was noticeable on the ice. The lightning-quick forward from Sweden scored 51 points in 52 games last season with the Comets and has a very good chance to crack the opening night lineup.

Other Observations From Devils Camp

Each game was played using only half of the ice, and the players made good use of the limited space. There was not much room to create plays, but the four teams made the most out of it. It was impressive, especially for such a young group.

I also want to make note of how many fans were at this event. The 3-on-3 mini camp was open exclusively to season-ticket members, and it didn’t look like there were many empty seats in the house. Many fans were flipping between the on-ice action and social media as Gaudreau Watch was in full effect.

Ultimately, Team Elias took on Team Brodeur in the final, with Elias coming out on top 4-2. Seamus Casey, the team’s second-round pick last week, scored two of four goals to secure the win. Best of all, his friends and family were at RWJBarnabas Hockey House to see it happen. In 48 games with the US National U18 team, Casey racked up 33 points. He has committed to the University of Michigan for next season, where he’ll play alongside fellow Devils draft pick Luke Hughes.

While the Devils look for immediate solutions in free agency, we can’t forget about the impressive young talent in the pipeline. With Utica looking so strong last season and many other prospects coming over, the next several years in the Garden State are shaping up to be fun.

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