Damon Severson: "If I Play How I Can Play, I'm Just a Piece of the Puzzle of the Team Succeeding."

By Coby Maeir on September 13, 2023 at 1:45 pm
New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28) takes a shot against the New York Rangers during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Damon Severson is entering training camp somewhere other than New Jersey for the first time in his NHL career. On June 9, the Blue Jackets acquired Severson from the Devils via sign-and-trade that saw him ink an eight-year, $6.25M AAV contract with Columbus. 

I spoke with the new Jackets blue-liner on Tuesday who said settling into Columbus has been awesome.

"Everything's good so far," Severson said. "Can't complain."

The 29-year-old Melville, Saskatchewan, native helped the Devils reach the playoffs last year for the first time since 2018 and is hoping he can do his part to help Columbus qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2020. 

"If I play how I can play, I'm just a piece of the puzzle of the team succeeding," Severson said. "So everyone's kind of got to pull their weight and I'm just looking to do what I can do, [It's] why they brought me in, to help the team be successful. As long as I pull my end of the rope, hopefully, everyone else does and the team will be more successful this year."

Severson scored 7-26--33 in 81 games last season for New Jersey and has recorded 58-205--263 in 647 games in nine seasons in addition to 1-2--3 in 16 playoff games.

While with the Devils, he played with young stars Jack Hughes, who scored 99 points last year, and Dawson Mercer, who lit the lamp 27 times in 2022-23. I asked Severson if he sees any similarities between Hughes and Kent Johnson (40 points in 2022-23) and Mercer and Kirill Marchenko (21 goals in 2022-23). He said there are similarities with how the younger players are brought up today and the things they work on in the off-season.

"There's some similarities for sure in both those players," Severson said. "But, now I get a chance to play with [these players] so hopefully these guys are really good too."

Severson also said that while he doesn't want to step on any toes as a new player, he wants to be a leader from day one. 

"[You] try to figure out how things are done in certain aspects of the thing," Severson said. "And then if you're asked for your opinion, you chip in an opinion here of what you think maybe could be done or maybe what has been done in the past where you've been. So it's all circumstantial, really."

"So you just continue to try to be a leader and help the younger players and continue to do what I do every day but at the same time, there's guys that have been here that are leaders as well and I'm just gonna try to support those guys and even further the program along to help in the long run".

Severson will look to improve a Blue Jackets defense that allowed the most five-on-five goals in the league and second-most goals overall.