Steve Santini: New Jersey Devils’ Second Round Pick
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
As a New York native, it’s no surprise that Steve Santini grew up as a fan of the New York Rangers. However, his allegience changed the moment he heard his name echo through the Prudential Center on Sunday evening.
Following the trade of their ninth-overall pick for goaltender Cory Schneider, the Devils used their 42nd and first selection of the 2013 NHL Draft on defenseman Steve Santini from the U.S. National Team Development Program.
” It’s an honor to be drafted by Mr. Lamoriello,” Santini said shortly after putting on the New Jersey Devils crest in front of 50 members of his family and friends. “I really think I’m the type of guy that can fit in here.”
The Devils first showed interest in the blue liner at the combine where Santini believed his interviews went well with the Devils’ contingency. While there was no guarantee of where he would land in the draft, he knew ending up in New Jersey was a “possibility.”
He may have not been a Devils’ fan when he walked into the building but there is no denying the local kid from Bronxville, NY understands how the Devils organization is run and how they have earned the success they have achieved.
” They have a bunch of Stanley Cups and Eastern Conference Championships, it’s a great place,” Santini said of his new hockey club. ” They are built off of hard work and great people.”
Santini committed to Boston College where he will play under legendary hockey coach, Jerry York, for the Boston College Eagles after two years in Ann Arbor, MI with the US National Team. The campus, academics and success in hockey were three of the main aspects he says Boston College was the place for him to develop following his time in Ann Arbor where he learned to be the shut-down defenseman he describes himself to be. Admittedly not a goal scorer, Santini believes he will add quickness, responsibility and reliability to the Devils’ blue-line.
Leading up to his college and eventual NHL career,Santini belives his time in Michigan has developed into more than just a great hockey player, but a good person off of the ice as well. He credits the development program for improving his character, his success in school as well as helping him getting to where he is strength wise in the weight room, calling it “the best place in the world to develop,” before mentioning how lucky he is to have been able to go through such a program.
For now, he knows there is more work to be done and estimates he is a few years of being completely NHL-ready.
“I’m just going to try to get better. Develop into a better player in college, work my tail off and one day play for the Devils,” Santini stated.