Stevens knew Niedermayer was special right away

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Scott Niedermayer did his best to act surprised that he was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday, as NHL.com notes.

“It’s pretty surreal to get this call to be told you’re being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Niedermayer said. “It’ll probably take a long time for it to sink in. It’s a pretty impressive group and it’s a real honor to be part of such a great group.”

Most expected him to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, though.

Scott Stevens told the New Jersey Devils Web site that it was instantly clear that he could become an impact player.

“I guess right away when you saw him. In camp, he was very young, but you could see the talent, you could see how great a skater he was,” Stevens said. “You pretty much knew from Day One when he arrived at camp that he was going to be a special player and had some special gifts and talents that a lot of players just would never have, obviously, his skating being the most noticeable. He’s probably one of the best skaters I’ve ever seen play the game.”