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"This is probably the most skilled group I've ever been on the ice with" Mark Dennehy

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Buffalo, N.Y. - Binghamton Devils head coach Mark Dennehy took to the ice in Buffalo, New York this morning for the Prospects Challenge. Today's morning skate was in fact the first time Dennehy has practiced with the Binghamton Devils since the New Jersey Devils announced his hiring on August 1, 2018.

"This is the second best time of the year. The start of the season and the playoffs" said Dennehy.

"These guys are chomping at the bit to get after it. Good pace, good tempo and that might be the most skill I've ever been on the ice with" Dennehy said.

The Dorchester native ended his thirteen-year tenure at Merrimack College earlier this year after being fired. He was hired as the head coach of the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL on May 29, 2018. However,  Dennehy didn't get the chance to coach a game because he was then hired to lead the Binghamton Devils. Therefore, not only was today Dennehy's first day on the ice with the B Devils, but his first day coaching a professional hockey team. 

"It's probably the most skilled group I've ever been on the ice with. It's nice to draw something on the board and have it be done relatively seamlessly right off the bat. They're eager to learn" Dennehy said.

"What I really need to concentrate on is inside the glass, on the ice, it's no different for any level" said Dennehy. 

"You're trying to coach detail and you're trying to coach the basics... I'm here to help them try to achieve their goals and that's how I really look at it."

The young prospects for the New Jersey Devils took the ice this morning in preparation for the first game of the Prospects Challenge. The Devils will play the Buffalo Sabres prospects tonight at 7 p.m. Two young players that highlights the Devils Prospects Challenge roster are Ty Smith and Joey Anderson. 

Before being drafted to the New Jersey Devils in the first-round, Ty Smith played for Canada in the U-18 IIHF World Championships in Russia. 

"I'm really amazed at how poised Ty Smith is for a young player" Dennehy said.

"The puck hits his stick and it just settles. He makes good decisions and I really liked his efficiency today."

Joey Anderson signed with the Devils in the Spring of 2018. According to northjersey.com, the former USA U-18 forward has been praised for his work ethic and competitiveness on the ice. 

"He's just a really smart hockey player" said Dennehy.

"He's a guy that can really do a lot of things. Especially with really good players, he's at his best."

"He's able to utilize the ability of his line mates and he's sort of a jack of all traits."

Mark Dennehy's message to his young prospects is simple.

"Don't get inundated by systems and where your supposed to be and when. Just play."

"These guys have worked hard to get here and are here for a reason. They're good players. The puck drops, you know what you're doing, just play hockey."