I was hoping during my vacation week some news would break. Sure enough, today it finally did. Earlier this afternoon New Jersey announced the signings of three players: restricted free agent Matt Corrente to a 1 year deal, and forwards Alexandre Carrier and Phil DeSimone to AHL contracts.
Corrente is coming off another injury plagued season, only appearing in 39 games with Albany, registering 8 points and 73 penalty minutes. With the log jam of defensemen both in New Jersey and in Albany, one would think this is probably the former first rounder’s last chance to make an impression in the organization. He will need to stay healthy though…he hasn’t played more than 65 games in a season since his rookie year in Lowell back in ’08-’09.
Carrier comes to the Devils via EC Salzburg of the Austrian League (teammate of former Devil Rob Davison), where he posted 28 points in 39 games, along with a staggering 195 penalty minutes. He seems to be a fourth line type forward who obviously is not afraid to fight when needed, which fits in the mold of a Sestito or Darcy Zajac type (just going by stats here), sounding like another energy providing type player for the organization (ironically the team logo features the Red Bull logo…). You can give him a follow on Twitter at @alexcarrier12.*
DeSimone was one of the nine rookie camp invites by New Jersey last week, and apparently he has impressed his way into a contract. He spent last season in Hamilton, posting 33 points (with 14 goals) in 76 games. He is a former third round draft pick of the Capitals, and played collegiately at New Hampshire (teammates with current Devil Mike Sislo).
This week it’s New Jersey’s turn to hold the annual rookie development camp, as several NHL teams did last week. Starting tomorrow at 9 AM, a total of 36 players will be in attendance, some familiar faces and some new to the organization. Per the Devils PR, here’s the complete list:
Breaking down the roster:
-16 players spent at least one game in an Albany uniform.
-5 are 2012 draft picks, including first rounder Stefan Matteau.
-9 are unsigned/undrafted invitees, including 2nd year participant Peter McMullen, grandson of former Devils owner John McMullen. Fire and Ice has more background info on those players.
Also worth noting: Joe Whitney and Darcy Zajac, both AHL free agents, are on the list. That’s a good sign of a possible return this season for both.
New Jersey’s PR Twitter account (@NHLDevilsPR) will be covering the camp all week.
While you’re waiting, check out the latest podcast at Talking Red. Prospect talk and their take on the whole Cam Janssen situation.
A lot has happened since the dawn of free agency last weekend. Time for catch up:
-While I was on 4th of July vacation…yeah we know what happened. My phone nearly was tossed into the water when I read that news. But just remember, there is a little thing called karma that I am a firm believer in…and in my opinion, this contract will come back to haunt our former captain when towards the middle of the deal he’s no closer than he was this postseason to touching that Cup.
-But, it wasn’t all bad news. Both Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg locked up the New Jersey goalie spots for the next two seasons. However, it does create an interesting situation down on the farm. Essentially you have four goalies for two spots in Albany and 1 or maybe 2 spots in the ECHL depending on what the Devils do for an affiliation next season (they had an agreement with Kalamazoo, but still sent a few players to Trenton). It may look like Jeff Frazee and Keith Kinkaid have their positions here back. However, you have prospect Scott Wedgewood about to start his first pro season, and also Maxime Clermont waiting in the wings. I’m curious to see how this straightens out come training camp.
-While the likes of Wilkes-Barre and Hershey are starting to load up, New Jersey helped out the farm a little bit by re-signing Jay Leach and Tim Sestito to 1 year deals. With Stephen Gionta looking like he’s graduated to the big club, could Leach step up as the next Albany captain? Who better than a veteran player who just happens to be from the Capital Region? Still early yet, but we’ll see. As for Sestito…everyone in Jersey get their Red Bull ready.
-Add two more players to the Moving On category: Matt Taormina is off to Tampa Bay (or, more likely, Syracuse) after signing a 1 year contract on Friday, and Vladimir Zharkov is going home to Russia, signing with CSKA Moskva for the next 2 seasons. As a restricted free agent, New Jersey retains his NHL rights.
Signed for 2012-13:
Restricted Free Agents:
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Nathan Perkovich (signed in Austria 5/11)
Timo Pielmeier (signed in Germany 6/1)
Sources: CapGeek, Elite Prospects