Category Archives: Connecticut Whale

Dane Byers(38) Hershey Bears

Dane Byers

Hershey Bears‘ 9th year veteran Dane Byers(38) needs not worry where he’ll play next season as the team captain been invited back to continue his role in Chocolatetown.

Maybe a bit of a less than surprise move, as the 28-year old left wing signed his first minor league deal to join the much-storied AHL team last season.

The solid 6’3″ 203 lbs. forward has appeared in only 14 NHL games, 6 with New York Rangers (drafted 2nd round, 46th overall in 2004) and 8 with Columbus Blue Jackets. He was able to pot one goal.

A proven leader on and off the ice, he plays a gutsy style that never shies away from delivering a crushing hit or fisticuffs if called upon to drop the gloves. He had the most penalty minutes last season, 211 since his rookie campaign in 2006/2007.

No doubt what will be foremost on his mind will be returning the club to a postseason berth, which they missed for the first time in 8 straight years of appearances.

See related: 11/14-10, 12/25-10, 9/8-11, 9/6-12

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Brodie Dupont(91) Iserlohn Roosters

Brodie Dupont

7th year veteran center/left wing Brodie Dupont(91) circled back to rejoin the AHL team he spent the first four years of his pro career with.

Originally a New York Rangers‘ 3rd round pick in the 2005 draft (#66 overall) he skated his only NHL game with them in 2011.

He signed a pto with minor league affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack at the beginning of the season to return to North American hockey after winning the 2013 Italian Cup Championship with Valpellice Bulldogs.

That followed a less than fruitful stint traded to Nashville Predators organization and reassigned to Milwaukee Admirals.

The fairly large-looking 6’2″ 210 lbs. power forward was averaging 40 points per season in his first three years.

Appearing in only 26 games on a veteran heavy roster, he managed a goal and 5 assists with a -9 rating, when he decided to accept an offer from Iserlohn Roosters of DEL to head back across the pond to skate the remainder of 2014.

The move seemed to work as he got some of his mojo back, putting up 2 goals and 6 assists in 13 contests and another pair of tallies and helpers in the playoffs.

Impressed enough with his performance, the 27-year old re-signed to return for a full season.

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Ryan Bourque(9) Hartford Wolf Pack

Ryan Bourque2

New York Rangers‘ 3rd round pick in the 2009 draft (#80 overall) left wing Ryan Bourque(9) has taken his AHL scoring onto a whole new level.

In his third year with minor league affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack he’s more than doubled his goals scored and is equal in points from his first two campaigns with the team. He’s also closely behind his 2-year assist total.

All good to see from an under-sized 5’9″ 178 lbs. forward who is in the final season of his entry level contract.

He started with a couple seasons of US junior hockey before moving on for another pair of years in the QMJHL with Quebec Remparts, where he proved in both developmental leagues that he could put up numbers.

The 23-year may be small but he’s a speedy skater and plays a tenacious, in-your-face style.

He’s set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign and is likely to be given a qualifying offer to stay in the Blueshirts‘ prospect system.

See related: 12/1-11

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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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Nick Palmieri(44) EHC München

Kyle Palmieri

After his first year of playing entirely in the minors and getting traded from Minnesota Wild/Houston Aeros to New York Rangers/Connecticut Whale, right wing Nick Palmieri(44) will lace up the skates in Germany’s DEL for EHC München in the upcoming season. 

He has skated in 87 NHL games, mostly with New Jersey Devils, who made him their 3rd round pick of the 2007 draft (#79 overall). For now he leaves with 13 goals and 12 assists to his credit.

The rangy 6’3″ 220 lbs. winger has played 221 AHL games, 3 seasons with Lowell/Albany Devils with 49 goals and 46 assists in the league, easily less than anticipated from a prospect his size and potential power forward abilities.

In four years of junior hockey in the OHL he always put up decent numbers but again seemed a bit underwhelming.

The 24-year old should be able to become a 1.5 point-per-game guy overseas but we shall see.

All said, we’re still pulling for the guy to break out of his proverbial shell.

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Blake Parlett(7) Columbus Blue Jackets

Coming off a career year, which also saw him get traded from New York Rangers‘ prospect system with Connecticut Whale to Columbus Blue Jackets and their affiliate Springfield Falcons, 4th year, undrafted defenseman Blake Parlett(7) signs his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent to stay where he is for a full season within the ranks.

In 78 AHL games in 2012/2013, he scored 8 goals and 24 assists with a combined +9 rating.

The seemingly bigger looking than 6’1″ 205 lbs. blue liner started his pro career on a minor league contract with Connecticut but spent most of his rookie season in the ECHL with Greenville Road Warriors.

After a good showing in first campaign, he was signed to a two-year entry level deal by the Rangers.

The 24-year old has yet to receive his first NHL call-up but he’s likely in line for a skate up in the big league if he continues to make a difference, connect for point in the upcoming season.

See related: 3/21-11

Blake Parlett

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Andrew Courtney(28) Missouri Mavericks

3rd year, undrafted forward Andrew Courtney(28) continues his pro career with the only team he’s ever suited up for under contract, Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League.

In 114 games for the team he has 49 goals and 50 assists, which is good but probably would have been even better if he hadn’t been injured and put on the shelf for a month in 2012/2013.

In the postseason he has really shined with 14 goals and 11 assists in 24 games.

He was clutch in the 2013 President’s Cup Playoffs with a game-tying tally and the eventual winning goal in overtime and a hat trick in successive contests that helped push the series to a deciding game 7.

The big 6’3″ 209 lbs. player also frequently hit the score sheet in five years of Canadian college hockey at University Of Lethbridge.

Last season he was invited to Connecticut Whale‘s training camp but released to their affiliate before deciding to return to the Mavericks.

At 28 years old he’s older than most other players that have only been playing a few years but seems to have plenty left in the tank to continue.

Andrew Courtney

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Chad Johnson(30) & Cedrick Desjardins(30)

A pair of number 30 goaltenders meet at center ice for the traditional handshake at the end of the AHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals best-of-five.

Portland PiratesChad Johnson(30) congratulates Syracuse Crunch Cedrick Desjardins(30) 0n the 3-0 series victory.

Both net minders will be unrestricted free agents as of July 1.

Chances have to be highly likely 4th year, 26-year old Johnson signs a one-year extension to stay in Phoenix Coyotes‘ system. He appeared in 4 NHL games this lockout shortened season and had a 1.21 GAA and .954 SV%.

He could easily score the back up job in 2013/2014.

27-year old Desjardins was reacquired by Tampa Bay Lightning on Valentine’s Day in a goalie swap with Montreal Canadiens. It’s his second time with the only team he’s played NHL games with, 5 total including three this past season.

He’s basically won everything at the junior and ECHL levels and is still waiting for a real opportunity in the show but for now will be concentrating on climbing that next rung with an AHL Championship.

Johnson Desjardins

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Chad Kolarik(42) WBS Penguins

5th year center Chad Kolarik(42) had his best pro season yet in 2012/2013.

He finished the AHL scoring race in tied for third in goals and third overall in points with 31 markers and 37 assists, while playing in full 76-game schedule split between Connecticut Whale and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The feisty 5′ 11″ 185 lbs. forward was involved in his second mid-season trade that brought him into Pittsburgh Penguins‘ system, where he continued to light it up.

He has never quite received a look in the show having only skated in 6 NHL games (1 assist), first with Columbus Blue Jackets and then New York Rangers.

The 27-year old was sidelined for the full 2011/2012 campaign suffering a season-ending injury in training camp.

He made up for lost time in a big way putting up career highs.

Entering just his third postseason, he is finding his way to the net yet again.

He’s a prolific scorer with 9 goals and 4 assists in 12 games, including a pair in the first game of the AHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, one of them being the game-winning tally in overtime.

Originally a Phoenix Coyotes‘ 7th round pick in the 2007 draft (#199 overall), he played for almost two years in the organization.

As of July 1, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. It looks promising for him to be re-upped for a full season in a Penguins‘ jersey but he also may have a look as to what else might be out there.

See related: 12/5-10, 7/4-11

Chad Kolarik

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Logan Pyett(39) Connecticut Whale

5th year defenseman Logan Pyett(39) signed a one-year two-way deal with New York Rangers for 2012/2013 and had himself a career year for assists (32) and points (39) with Connecticut Whale. He finished third on the team in scoring and was also a +9 plus/minus.

The 5’10” 199 lbs. d-man is set to become an unrestricted free agent. No word quite yet if the Blueshirts will retain his services for another year.

He was originally a Detroit Red Wings‘ 7th round pick in the 2006 draft (#212 overall) and played four seasons with their minor league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins, initially on a three-year entry level deal and then inked an extension for another campaign.

The 24-year old has yet to appear in the NHL but has played in 361 AHL games scoring 30 goals and recently notched his 100th assist.

He was also a good point producer in junior hockey and captained his hometown team Regina Pats of the WHL.

Where he ends up is still a guessing game but regardless, he’s an asset and potential insurance to have on the blue line for any club.

Logan Pyett

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