NEWARK -- Coming off a big offensive year in high school, Devils defenseman prospect Reilly Walsh didn't seem fazed during the team's scrimmage to close Development Camp on Saturday.
The 2017 third-round Draft pick scored a pair of goals for his team, while also showing physicality in the defensive zone with hits and blocks near the net.
While Walsh saw a higher skill level around him at the camp, he said that helped him show off some of his offensive skills.
"I think I read the ice pretty well coming up from the back end, finding soft spots," Walsh told NJ Advance Media. "I think I did a pretty good job obviously today kind of finding those late passes. Definitely helps playing with smarter guys. I think guys looking to make that late pass helps my game out, for sure."
Why camp felt different for Devils
Walsh had 69 points, including 30 goals, in 30 high school games in 2016-17, and he'll continue his playing career at Harvard next season.
In Saturday's scrimmage, Walsh scored his first goal when he cleaned up a loose puck by firing it into the back of the net off a scramble in the crease. He then scored in transition when he took a drop pass from center Michael McLeod before rocketing a shot into net.
Walsh also got to play against some skilled forwards on the other end of the ice, and he didn't back down when Blake Speers, Nico Hischier or Miles Wood came rushing in.
"All those guys are super shifty," Walsh said. "You really can't try to step up and lunge at them, you kind of have to sit back, but you have to be aggressive, as well."
His skill set and position give Walsh the potential to make an impact with the Devils down the line, but for now, he's focused on what he still needs to add to his game.
"My skating and strength," Walsh said when asked what he wants to improve. "I've got a month or maybe a little more before I go to school, so I've got to try to work my hardest to get bigger and stronger, and with my skating just to be a little more powerful. Going into Harvard as prepared as I can is going to be the best thing for me to have success."
Walsh credited the players around him at the camp for making the transition to NHL workouts and practices an easy one.
As he continues to make the jump to the next stage of his career, a week in New Jersey helped that cause.
"It was definitely hard at first, but I think I did a pretty good job stepping up when the level gets higher. I think it was good to me to push myself to this level, I've never played at it before. But I think I handled it pretty well."
Devils' Nico Hischier creates 2 goals during Development Camp scrimmage
Chris Ryan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find NJ.com Devils on Facebook....Read more