Category Archives: Albany Devils

Seth Helgeson(2) Albany Devils

Seth Helgeson

New Jersey Devils‘ 4th round pick in the 2009 draft (#114 overall) defenseman Seth Helgeson(2) has towering size at 6’5″ 215 lbs. and plays a punishing, stay-at-home style.

He was selected after a pair of seasons as a teenager in the USHL with Sioux City Musketeers.

Deciding to head to school as his next move helped him grow his game in four years at home state University Of Minnesota.

He finished his NCAA career with a +16 rating, completely reversing his numbers from American junior hockey but only put up modest scoring totals.

Once he turned pro, joining minor league affiliate Albany Devils for 75 AHL games in his rookie campaign, he scored only a single goal and credited with 9 assists, while running up 100 penalty minutes including 8 fighting majors. He was also a +12 plus/minus, helping the team to its first Calder Cup Playoff berth in a long while.

The 23-year old was recalled on a couple of occasions by the parent club but has yet to appear in an NHL game.

With a strong training camp heading into the final season of his 2-year entry level deal he could find himself spending some quality time in the show during the 2014/2015 season.

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Ben Chiarot(18) St. John’s IceCaps

Ben Chiarot3

Unlikely hero, St. John’s IceCaps‘ defenseman Ben Chiarot(18) scores the overtime game-winner on a slapper from the point to take the 1-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Albany Devils, who were at home.

It was his first playoff point in his first AHL playoff game.

He is in the final season of his 3-year entry level contract with Winnipeg Jets.

He’s made one NHL appearance with no points and went an unfortunate -3 plus/minus in a 5-1 shellacking.

The 6’3″ 215 lbs. d-man easily had a break out minor league career year in 2013/2014, recording a clearly better 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points with a +29 rating.

The soon-to-be 23 year old is probably on the likely list to be given a qualifying offer for another run in the system but will have to work that much harder to get another look for the show.

The series has since been tied at 1.

See related: 3/23-12

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Kelly Zajac(11) Albany Devils

Kelly Zajac

Albany Devils‘ undrafted 2nd year center Kelly Zajac(11) is making a statement on the score sheet in his sophomore season with the team.

After being sidelined for a majority of his rookie year with a nagging lower body injury, limiting him to only 14 games (2 goals, 2 assists), he returned for 2013/2014 healthy and ready to contribute.

Appearing in 46 AHL games, he’s easily posted career highs with 8 goals, 22 assists and a +5 rating on a squad that’s poised to make a playoff run for the first time in a long while.

The not exactly huge 5’11” 175 lbs. forward was a point-per-game guy in his last two campaigns of college hockey at Union, helping them win the 2012 NCAA (ECAC) Championship.

He’s only been signed to a pair of 1-year minor league contracts but is definitely making a bid to get noticed and move up.

The 25-year old spent parts of his first season in the ECHL with Trenton Titans, most of the time to likely get some games under his belt, and was able to produce at a rate of 6 goals and 10 assists in 15 contests in the lower league.

He may not be sure where he will end up under a deal for his next campaign but should be able to score a training camp invite to show the higher ups what he can do.

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Mike Sislo(19) New Jersey Devils

Mike Sislo

New Jersey Devils‘ 3rd year, undrafted right wing Mike Sislo(19) is well on his way to career highs with minor league affiliate Albany Devils.

In 27 AHL games he already has 9 goals and 11 assists with a +8 rating. His previous bests are 13 tallies, 18 assists and 27 points in his rookie and sophomore campaigns.

His consistent play in the early going has earned him a first recall.

In his NHL debut he skated 16 shifts for 8:29 total ice time, had two shots on net and was 100% in the face off circle, on likely one fill-in draw; but still.

He was initially signed to a 2-year entry level deal and extended in the off-season for another spot in the prospect system.

The 5’11” 190 lbs. forward somewhat goes about playing his game almost quietly out there but he’s none too afraid to get right in the middle of the action to come up with the puck.

He was pretty much a point-per-game guy in his last three seasons of college hockey with University Of New Hampshire and was team captain in his senior year. Leadership.

The almost 26-year old could find his openings for scoring chances in the show but he’s going to have to dig hard with his ice time. To be continued..

Chris McKelvie(16) Albany Devils

Chris McKelvie

Albany Devils‘ assistant captain, undrafted 4th year left wing Chris McKelvie(16) looks very likely to set career highs in his second season under contract with the team.

In 31 AHL games he already has a new best 6 goals to go along with 6 helpers, which is only 4 off the mark and only two points away from tying the 14 he put up in 2012/2013.

This will be his first full season in the top development league after stint reassignments to Greenville Road Warriors in his rookie and sophomore campaigns and a pair of ECHL contests last year with Trenton Titans.

The 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward has also been invited to NHL training camps three of his four pro seasons. He was in two with New York Rangers before being sent back to Connecticut Whale and started his second run with Albany after an invite to join New Jersey Devils in their camp.

At 28-years old he may just starting to find his game late.

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Reid Boucher(14) New Jersey Devils

Reid Boucher1

New Jersey Devils‘ 4th round pick in the 2011 draft (#99 overall) left wing Reid Boucher(14) has been an impact player at 5’11” 195 lbs. ever since turning pro for the end of the 2012/2013 regular season with minor league affiliate Albany Devils.

He managed to skate in 11 AHL games and put together 3 goals and a pair of assists in his debut.

To start his rookie season he’s already struck for 10 goals and 8 assists in only 21 match-ups with a +4 rating.

The 20-year old only played a couple of campaigns in the OHL with Sarnia Sting; he scored 62 goals and 33 assists in 68 games last season, but already had two years in American junior USHL under his belt to give him a start.

He is American-born: Lansing, MI.

Signed to a three-year entry level deal, it would be easy to see him make the jump permanently into the NHL quickly. He possesses that kind of determination out there.

His efforts have earned him a first recall from the farm team on 12/4. He made his debut skating 19 shifts for 12:30 of ice time, including :57 on the power play no less. That was likely earned as he had his first point, an assist in the game and subsequently was chosen as the first shooter in the shootout and scored.

He was also credited with 2 shots and ended the 4-3 shootout loss a +2 plus/minus.

We see a bright future.

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Stefan Matteau(18) Albany Devils

Stefan Matteau

New Jersey Devils‘ 1st round pick in the 2012 draft (#29 overall), left wing  Stefan Matteau(18) was given quite the opportunity to step right into the big league at age 18 after competing in only half a season in the QMJHL with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Waiting for the lockout to thaw, he was invited to training camp with the chance to make the squad and did just that.

After 17 games, with his first pro goal and a pair of assists to his credit, it was decided to return him to his junior hockey team to play out the remainder of the season; although the situation went amiss and he ended up abruptly leaving the team during their playoff run.

His playing rights were traded to Rimouski Oceanic, but the 6’3″ 215 lbs. player was determined to turn pro and stick with the parent club or start his official rookie season with their minor league affilate Albany Devils. The latter occurred when he was reassigned to the farm club to continue his development.

In 18 AHL games the built like a power forward has a conservative 3 goals and 4 assists, while seemingly still adjusting to the higher level of play.

Signed to a three-year entry level deal last season, the first campaign of the contract was accounted for in his somewhat tumultuous 2012/2013.

The big 19-year old will likely figure out pretty quickly what it’s going to take for him to jump to the next level permanently and become a fixture in the league but will probably need to pay attention to some good coaching and could use a great veteran mentor.

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Scott Timmins(17) Albany Devils

Scott Timmins

New Jersey Devils‘ newly acquired 4th year center Scott Timmins(17) is off to his fastest start on the score sheet in his pro career with minor league affiliate Albany Devils.

In 12 games, he has 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) with a +4 rating, which currently ties him for the team lead in scoring. The change of scenery has obviously done him some good.

Originally a Florida Panthers‘ 6th round pick in the 2009 draft (#165 overall), he has skated 24 NHL games over three seasons in their prospect system on an entry level deal, scoring one goal.

In 180 AHL contests with farm clubs San Antonio Rampage and Rochester Americans he hit the mark for 32 goals and 41 assists, which hardly reflects the kind of season he’s looking at for 2013/2014.

Although he may not be blessed with big size, the 5’11” 191 lbs. forward uses all he’s got and isn’t afraid to get himself in the center of the action for opportunities.

In 4 seasons of OHL juniors, he won three straight league championships on two different teams and consecutive Memorial Cups.

If he continues on the pace he’s setting for himself early on, the 24-year will be in line for another shot at the show.

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Jon Merrill(5) New Jersey Devils

Jon Merrill

New Jersey Devils‘ 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft (#38 overall) defenseman Jon Merrill(5) almost didn’t get to enjoy his chance to turn pro on an ato late last season with minor league affiliate Albany Devils.

But after his third year at University Of Michigan and a broken vertebrae suffered in college hockey exhibition play that left him almost paralyzed, he returned to his Wolverines for one more campaign, and when that was completed signed a three-year entry level deal realizing his dream.

He stepped in an scored a goal and 7 assists in 12 AHL games at the end of 2012/2013 and then picked up in his rookie season right where he left off.

In 11 contests, he already has 2 more tallies and another 5 assists to his totals.

The 6’4″ 205 lbs. blue liner received his first NHL recall to join the parent club but suffered an early game-ending, when he was racing for a defensive zone puck, pursued by an opposing player and went face first into the boards, officially ending his big league debut.

The 21-year old was helped off the ice but should be ok to return to action and won’t be suffering any more setbacks.

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Rob Davison(3) Worcester Sharks

Rob Davison

13th year defenseman Rob Davison(3) comes full circle in his pro career signing a one-year, two-way deal with San Jose Sharks, the team that picked him in the 4th round of the 1998 draft (#98 overall).

He spent the last couple of seasons overseas playing mostly for EC Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Hockey League.

The rock solid 6’3″ 215 lbs. blue liner has skated in 219 NHL games with the Sharks, New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils.

His tour of the AHL has been a bit more well-traveled with stops that include games for Kentucky Thoroughblades, Cleveland Barons, Lowell and Albany Devils and this year he’s team captain of Worcester Sharks.

The 33-year old has never been the biggest point getter but guards his own zone with gusto and has topped the 200 penalty minute mark twice in his first pair of seasons and then put up over 100 pims before leaving North American hockey.

He’s a true leader that will likely find himself behind the bench in a coaching role once he decides he’s had enough ice time.

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