Devils coaches were surprised when forward prospect Blake Speers entered training camp last fall and made the NHL roster to start the season, but now they expect more of the same.

Coach John Hynes got another look at Speers earlier in July at the team's Development Camp, and he saw the same player with an added edge to his game.

"He's a relentless, relentless competitor, just in how he attacks everything he does," Hynes said. "There's more of the same now. We have the same drive, but you're seeing a player that's more experienced."

Speers returned to junior hockey after three NHL games last season, but 2017-18 will be his full first pro season. From what Hynes saw, Speers has no intention of playing anywhere other than New Jersey.

"There's certainly a drive and determination to him overall in this camp that he looks like he's a guy on the mission to give himself the best opportunity to make the team next year," Hynes said.

Following the conclusion of his season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL, Speers briefly joined the Albany Devils for the AHL playoffs.