How Devils’ Joey Anderson, Brett Seney have handled renewed roster competition

November 7, 2018

Rookies Joey Anderson and Brett Seney have seen the competition for NHL spots with the Devils bleed over into the regular season. Watch video

OTTAWA — Competition for the Devils‘ NHL roster didn’t end with final cuts in training camp.

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The rotation of Devils prospects in the NHL lineup continued following the start of the season, with the latest influx brining forwards Brett Seney and Joey Anderson to the team.




Neither made the initial roster out of training camp, with both going to the AHL during the last rounds of cuts. That didn’t mean their NHL chance was gone. 

Both went down and performed, and while surrounded by other players aiming for the NHL team, they stood out. 

“Every guy, whether you’re in the AHL or NHL, you’re always going to be competitive,” Seney told NJ Advance Media. “I think that’s what builds a winning attitude in an organization, and I know especially the guys in Binghamton were chomping at the bit to get up. So it’s nice to have a few guys get up and be able to contribute. But I think man-to-man, it’s just about focusing on what you can do and how you can helming the team win.”

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Both Seney and Anderson are playing their first pro seasons in 2018-19 following collegiate careers, so on top of fighting for roster spots, they had to adjust to a new level of competition.

While the AHL sits a rung below the NHL in terms of talent, it’s still an incredibly difficult place to play. Devils coach John Hynes often calls it the second toughest league in the world.

Anderson heard about what to expect when he went down, and it lived up to the hype. Part of that competition is the drive behind almost everyone there to make an impression and reach the NHL.

“It’s hard to put up points there, and people don’t quite realize that. It’s a tough league,” Anderson said. “There’s not many guys that are happy or thrilled to be in that league, so guys are fighting for jobs, much like any team. There’s a lot of fight that happens, guys competitively battling in games.”

While points are certainly tough to rack up in the AHL, Seney found a way to produce right out of the gate. His one goal and nine assists over his first 10 games led all AHL rookies. After going without a point in the NHL preseason, Seney found an offensive groove in the AHL while focusing on what coaches wanted.

“It was just rounding out my game in general,” Seney said. “In my 10 games in Binghamton, I focused a lot on my defensive zone and being responsible in the offensive zone as well. To play at this level, especially as a centerman, you have to play a 200-foot game. That’s something I really focused on and it helped me get to this point.”

Both have tried to use their first NHL chances as a continued learning opportunity and a chance to make an impression. They know how quickly things can change in either direction.

“They’re giving guys opportunities that have played well. It always kind of catches a guy off guard,” Anderson said. “Guys are definitely excited for that, and I’m sure down there, that’s a big message down there. There is movement, so they keep that competition down there too.”

Chris Ryan may be reached at original article here.

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