Minus the pristine beaches and palm trees, San Antonio and the Bahamas share a similar climate. Though the Alamo City has yet to produce an NHL-er, the island chain has one they can claim as their own: Andre Deveaux.
Deveaux, 28, was born in Freeport in the Bahamas and spent three years there before his family moved north to Welland, Ontario. It was in Canada that Deveaux picked up the game of hockey.
After four years in junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League, Deveaux was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2002 Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2008 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, making him the first player born in the Bahamas to play in the NHL.
Last season he scored 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 59 games with the Connecticut Whale, which earned him a nine game stint with the New York Rangers.
Deveaux is a big bruising forward who uses his full 6-foot-3, 239-pound frame to his advantage.
“He has shown that he’s very effective at using his size and he’s very good at puck protection,” said Rampage head coach Chuck Weber. “He’s a veteran guy who makes smart plays and now he’s just getting acclimated to how we play the game.”
Deveaux took some time to answer some questions following a skate during Rampage training camp for sarampage.com.
How was the summer?
A lot of stuff happened in the summer. I got engaged right before the playoffs least season. It was a lot of getting my fiancée settled back in Toronto. We had a big move and I was busy with a lot of training and skating, too. We didn’t take any big vacations. We just just hung around Toronto and enjoyed the summer.
How has the transition to San Antonio been?
It’s been a good transition. People’s demeanor here reminds me a lot of people back home. Everybody says “hi” when you’re walking downtown and everybody seems so friendly down south. And I’m obviously enjoying the weather.
Is it true you have a little experience with warmer climates?
I do. I was born in the Bahamas and lived there for about three years. But I grew up in Canada where I started playing hockey. The Bahamas is where I’m from, but Welland, Ontario is home.
Has the lockout affected your training coming into camp?
Yeah a little bit. Finding ice was a little bit of an ordeal because usually guys are gone around that time because they’re leaving early for NHL camp. We had to fight the little kids for ice time a little. So I didn’t get as much ice time as I wanted over the summer. That being said, I was disappointed because I wasn’t able come down here early and skate some with the guys and meet them. Building some that off-ice chemistry is really important and I feel it’s very underrated.