Las vigas — Brekken Scoppetto skated out of the big black magic chest in the center ice and instantly became the envy of all of his fellow North Jersey Kings.
Scobeto, the 10-year-old son of New Jersey Devils equipment manager Chris “Frosty” Scobeto, played little Jack Hughes The adidas NHL Breakaway Challenge as part of the NHL 2022 Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook at T-Mobile Arena on Friday.
Hughes, the center of demons, pretended to do a magic trick, pulling out a bag with a small T-shirt, a set of gloves and a small wand. The door opened and a Scobeto skater, a fifth grader at Bernardsville Middle School, made a move on Manon Ryome and scored.
“I was a little nervous at first but in the end it was really fun,” said Bryckin, who plays in Randolph, New Jersey. “I had a good time.”
Hughes had an idea about two weeks ago to incorporate what he called “Vegas-y” things.
“Obviously magic was one of them and I thought about the black box and then ‘Frosty’ spoke to me and ‘Brick’ was going to show up,” Hughes said. “It’s all about Brick. If he had a lot more fun than this what he was meant to be, I hope he had a lot of fun.”
Once Hughes came up with the idea, he spoke to Scopeto about bringing Brekken into the mix.
Scobeto sometimes brings Brecken into the practices of demons and he knows the players, specifically Hughes.
“You have to see the way they are treated,” Scobeto said. “It’s incredible.”
Hughes said Scopeto always shows him videos of Brickin’s goals, so he knew he had some skill and would be able to perform for the time being.
Sure enough, they worked on the sitcom twice for an hour last week.
“Frosty and the coaches do a lot for us, so doing something like that for him is great,” Hughes said. “He’s one of the best kids in New Jersey. it is good.”
Scobeto said Hughes deserved credit for what he did for Brekken.
“It just shows Jack’s personality,” he said. “He’s a great kid.”
Brickin said one of the main things he made sure of when he came out of the black box was not to look at the crowd.
“I was so excited,” he said.
Brickin even was hanging out with a “family” member on Friday, Captain Ottawa Senators Brady Tkachuk.
The Scoppetto and Tkachuks family are close. They met each other through USA Hockey because Chris Scopeto worked for the organization as equipment manager at several events, including the IIHF World Championships.
Taryn Tkachuk, Brady’s sister, is Chris Scopeto’s granddaughter. Lokklen Scoppetto, Brekken’s sister, is the sweetheart of former NHL player Keith Tkachuk and his wife Chantal.
“They’re family,” said Brady Tkachuk. “They are wonderful people.”
Brekken was with Tkachuk in the Eastern Conference’s locker room before and after the event on Friday.
“I think he’s the best player of the night,” Tkachuk said of Brycken. “He did a good job. Satisfying action. A sick celebration. That whole play was great.”
Tkachuk said he could feel the excitement Bryckin was aroused and spoke to him to try to calm his nerves.
“I tried to get the nerves out of him,” Tkachuk said. “It was exciting. I hope the fans liked it because I know a lot of players thought it was cool.”