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Devils Simon Nemec Breaks 89-Year-Old International Hockey Record

Simon Nemec cements himself in Mens World Championship history as a U20 player.

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New Jersey Devils
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

As it turns out, the New Jersey Devils drafting defenseman Simon Nemec second overall in the 2022 NHL Draft was bang on. The Slovakian defenseman has only become better and better in each season since he was drafted and continues to prove why he was the right choice as a future top-pairing defenseman. At the 2024 IIHF Mens World Championships this spring, Nemec broke an 89-year-old international hockey record which serves as another feather in his cap en route to Slovakian and international hockey history.

At the ripe age of 20 years old, Nemec set a Mens Worlds record for an aged U20 player skating in his 22nd game at the world tournament, the most in IIHF history.

The record was previously held by Switzerland forward Ferdinand Cattini who set the record in 1935, playing 21 games in the tournament as a U20 player.

Through 22 games in his international career at the Mens Worlds thus far, the Devils defenseman has collected two goals and 10 assists for 12 points with Slovakia.

At this year’s tournament, Nemec potted a goal and four assists through four games. He’s helped lead Slovakia to eight points thus far in the tournament, registering a 2-1-0-1 record through four games. Slovakia’s eight points rank them in second place in Group B behind Team Sweden and ahead of Luke Hughes & Team USA who have collected four points through three games.

Nemec is Slovakia’s third-leading point collector thus far in the 2024 tournament, dominating offensively making plays such as this one, dishing a primary assist to former Devils forward Tomas Tatar.

The record is a testament to the Devils defenseman’s development, but also Nemec’s drive. Nemec is an uber-competitive player who holds himself to a high standard who always believed himself ready for the NHL from the very moment New Jersey drafted him.

He’s since proved he’s an NHL defenseman, almost seamlessly stepping in for injured Devils No.1 defenseman Dougie Hamilton when he suffered a pectoral tear earlier in the 2023-24 season.

The Devils’ blueline is certainly in good hands moving forward with an impressive young corps of players such as Nemec, Hughes and recently signed Seamus Casey.

Slovakia plays next on Saturday against Team France after shutting out Team Poland 4-0 on Wednesday.

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