Defenseman Harry Young is determined to demonstrate all facets of his game during the Devils' rookie camp this week at Prudential Center.
And one of those facets is fighting.
So, when the opportunity to drop the gloves with right wing Nathan Perkovich presented itself in the first period of this morning's scrimmage, Young did not hesitate.
"It was just a hard-working shift, two guys battling," Young said. "It's just part of the game, especially part of my game. Tempers will rise out there and it was just two guys battling, nothing beyond that."
Young, 19, also had a fight in a scrimmage with Matt Corrente during last year's rookie camp.
"I got in quite a few fights the last few years," said Young, who had 138 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games with Windsor this past season. "I guess part of what I want to showcase too, but that's not what it was about. It's just really intense out there. It's great for the camp because everybody is working hard and everybody is battling out there and that just shows it."
Perkovich, a Devils' eighth-round pick in 2004, was a willing participant.
"I was just battling hard and Harry asked me to go and I said, 'All right, let's go,' Perkovich said.
Perkovich said there have been no restrictions from the coaching staff about fighting in the camp.
"It was a good bout," he said.
Young got the better of Perkovich in the fight, but Perkovich later scored the final goal for the White Team in its 5-3 victory in the scrimmage.
"I guess (the fight) is why I got my feet moving," he said. "It's always good to get one like that."
There is more to Young's game to fighting and he's determined to show how much he's progressed as a player in the last year.
"It's going pretty well for me so far." Young said. "It's going a lot better than last year. I knew what to expect. I wasn't as nervous and I came in in the best shape possible. I feel like I improved a lot this season, so I'm just trying to show that right now."
Young, who was a seventh-round draft choice in 2008, has size (6-5, 200), strength and toughess, but knew he had to work on his skating to make the jump to the next level. That isn't the only area where he believes he's improved, though.
"I definitely worked on my skating back home, a lot of power skating," he said. "But, just my confidence overall. We had a great year in Windsor. We went to the Memorial Cup and just that whole experience has been great for everybody on the team, really. I feel like I learned a lot through the playoffs and that experience."
Young was the captain of the Windsor Spitfires team that won the Memorial Cup for the first time. He was a member of the team when Spitfires captain Mickey Renaud died suddenly in 2007-08 because of a rare heart condition.
"It's pretty much been a three-year turnaround," he said. "The management took over and brought in all of the players they wanted. We had a lot to overcome on that team. We went from being one of the worst teams in Canada to the best. We learned a lot. There were a lot of leaders on that team. It's been a great experience."
Young hopes that being a captain of a winning team like that will pay off for him down the road in his professional career.
"I think so," he said. "Every kind of team loves those kind of qualities. Being captain, especially of my hometown team, you couldn't ask for more of a dream come true, especially winning that championships.,"
Young hopes to take the next step by signing a professional contract with the Devils and playing in the minor leagues in 2009-10. If that doesn't happen, he can go back to Windsor as an overage junior.
"I'm eligible to play an overage season of junior or I can play in the American Hockey League, ECHL," he said. "Right now, it's up in the air."
Young said he would "love to" sign with the Devils.
"Right now, I guess they are going to see where I'm going to develop best and they'll make that decision," he said. "But, of course, I want to be successful. I want to move on and I want to make the most out of this."
Perkovich also is feeling more comfortable at camp this year. He was able to get his feet wet as a professional by signing a two-year pro contract with the Devils after finishing up his season at Lake Superior State in March. He played in six ECHL playoff games for Trenton and ha d agoal and three assists.
"I got a taste of the pro game and it was a great experience for me," he said. "It was a step forward in my progression to hopefully becoming an NHL hockey player."
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Perkovich had 12 goals and 12 assists in 35 games as a junior with Lake Superior State last season.
"I learned a lot from last year's camp," he said. "The coaches here really helped me out with my defensive play and my position, so I took that back to college with me last year and that helped me out a lot, defensively and overall as a player."