Q & A with Prospect Matthew Hellickson

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As a late-round draft decide the New Jersey Devils fan base may not have lofty expectations for defenseman Matthew Hellickson like they do for defenseman Ty Smith who was taken within the first spherical (2018/17th general), however that doesn’t imply that Hellickson can’t have an impactful NHL profession. Simply inside their very own franchise, the Devils have uncovered a hidden gem in Jesper Bratt who they nabbed within the sixth spherical (162nd general) of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Late Spherical Worth Abound

Hellickson was taken within the seventh spherical of the 2017 NHL Draft (214th general) and there may be definitely some worth to be present in that spherical as historical past has proven us. Different notable NHLers taken within the seventh spherical embrace some names you could be aware of: Joe Pavelski, Pekka Rinne, Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Lundqvist, and Dustin Byfuglien.

RELATED: The 10 Finest seventh Spherical Picks of the Final 15 Years

Matthew Hellickson of the Notre Dame Combating Irish. (Picture Credit score: Combating Irish Media)

The Devils defensive prospect has been honing his craft on the NCAA stage the previous two seasons with the Notre Dame Combating Irish and not too long ago attended his first summer time Growth Camp in New Jersey, getting a glimpse of what it means and what it takes to be an expert hockey participant. Throughout his two years at South Bend, Hellickson’s group has compiled a 51-24-5 file and so they superior to the NCAA Title Sport throughout his freshman season the place his group misplaced to fellow Devils prospect Joey Anderson and the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.

The 21-year-old from Rogers, Minnesota has performed in all 80 video games for the Combating Irish and has put up 28 factors (7g-21a). Now coming into his junior season he shall be leaned on extra as one of many elder gamers on the roster and the expertise gained on the Devils camp ought to assist him turn into a greater participant.

Matthew Hellickson of the Notre Dame Combating Irish speaks with Dan Rice of The Hockey Writers following the conclusion of New Jersey Devils Growth Camp. (Picture Credit score: Andrew Mordzynski)

Following the scrimmage that concluded the week-long Growth Camp The Hockey Writers spoke with Hellickson to get some perception on how he feels his collegiate profession has gone, what his first style of professional hockey was like, how tough it’s to defend towards Jack Hughes, and extra.

First Time Camper

The Hockey Writers: That is your first time on the annual Growth Camp that the Devils host, what has the expertise been like for you?

Matthew Hellickson: It’s been unbelievable. Not being right here the primary two years it was robust, one in all my greatest mates from again residence – Joey Anderson – has been right here and I’ve been itching to get out right here with him. It’s been nice and it’s the primary time I’ve realized what it takes to make it to the subsequent stage. It’s tremendous enjoyable taking part in towards these guys which have some expertise within the NHL and AHL too. I had an awesome week general and I believe I realized a lot, plus had a very good time on the ice. A fantastic expertise, and an awesome week general.

Joey Anderson fist bumps followers on the Devils 2017 Growth Camp. (Picture Credit score: New Jersey Devils/Patrick Dodson)

THW: So it’s secure to say that you simply’ve picked Joey’s mind about what goes on at these items?

MH: Yeah positively. He and I are actually shut, so it was superior that I received to hang around with him loads this week. A few Chipotle meals shared collectively (grins). Simply selecting his mind about what it takes and the work that must be put in, to not simply keep right here however to make it to the best stage you may within the NHL.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

THW: For followers that didn’t get to see you play what was your sophomore season like at Notre Dame?

MH: My season was strong final 12 months. I had a very good freshman 12 months, and I had sophomore 12 months, however I’m actually trying ahead to this upcoming season. I actually like our group and I believe we’ve lots of nice expertise coming in. I’m not simply excited for myself, however our group as an entire.

Matthew Hellickson of the Notre Dame Combating Irish. (Picture Credit score: Combating Irish Media)

THW: The Combating Irish have been in a position to go actually far the final two seasons, how are you going to guys replicate that success once more?

MH: It begins with the tradition that we’ve at Notre Dame, every thing begins there and that’s the identical factor that these guys have been speaking about all week right here in New Jersey, and I believe that’s true for Notre Dame as effectively. The day by day habits, training arduous on daily basis; if we get all the younger guys to belief the method straight away, and all of us consider in the identical objective I believe we are able to go far once more this 12 months.

THW: You bought to do lots of team-bonding stuff off the ice this week, what was your favourite a part of that facet?

MH: It was all a lot enjoyable. Going to New York Metropolis for certain, palms down. I’ve all the time needed to go to New York and once I seemed on the itinerary once we first received right here and noticed that, and we had been going to a New York Yankees sport. I used to be ecstatic about that. Yesterday was unbelievable. Sort of residing the dream nearly. Hanging out with the fellows, you are feeling such as you’re on the group nearly. All the perks – we had been within the occasion suite (grins), free meals and hanging with the boys and having fun with a pleasant Yankees sport. Undoubtedly my favourite a part of the week.

Matthew Hellickson of the Notre Dame Combating Irish. (Picture Credit score: Combating Irish Media)

THW: What’s it been like having to defend towards this fella named Jack Hughes?

MH: It’s enjoyable. Undoubtedly slightly intimidating. However he’s an awesome child, an awesome hockey participant too. It’s difficult, however it’s nice as a result of he makes me higher and I attempt to assist make him higher too.

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