The First Round

Just as I had figured, after the second game of the preseason (a 5-3 Devil loss against the Islanders), New Jersey announced this morning their first round of training camp cuts. There were a couple of surprises as to who was sent to Albany and who is still with the big club. A total of 21 players, 15 to Albany, have been sent packing.

To Albany:

Maxime Clermont
Seth Helgeson
Raman Hrabarenka
Dan Kelly
Corbin McPherson
Reece Scarlett
Reid Boucher
Riley Boychuk
Mike Hoeffel
Chris McKelvie
Harri Pesonen
Ben Thomson
Joe Whitney
David Wohlberg
Darcy Zajac

Anthony Brodeur, Myles Bell, Graham Black, Remy Giftopoulos, Ben Johnson, and Ryan Kujawinski have all been returned to their respective junior teams.

Looking at the list, all but 3 players are familiar to the Capital Region:

Scarlett, a 20-year-old defenseman, is a 2011 draft selection who spent the last four seasons with Swift Current of the WHL.

Boychuk, a 22-year-old forward, was the player acquired from the Sabres in the Henrik Tallinder trade back in July. He spent last season with Fort Worth of the Central Hockey League.

Thomson, a 20-year-old forward, is a 2012 draft pick who played the last four seasons in Kitchener (OHL).

Pesonen, Zajac, and Boucher had a chance to suit up for New Jersey on Monday, with Boucher also appearing in Thursday’s loss to the Islanders.

As for who’s still with the big club? Not surprised to still see Eric Gelinas up, especially after his performance in the first two preseason games (scoring Monday and assisting on both goals last night). Brandon Burlon, Mike Sislo, Tim Sestito, Jon Merrill, and Damon Severson are just a few who are also still in New Jersey. Same with Harry Young (I’m scratching my head on that one).

Also still in camp? Cam Janssen. In honor of that, it’s time for the first Cam Janssen Obligatory Fight of the Week of the season! From Monday’s game with the Rangers at The Rock:

The Albany group is scheduled to have their first practice tomorrow afternoon. They actually had a “secret” game against the Phantoms on Thursday at the Prudential Center, with the Flyers prospects coming away with a 4-2 win. Fire and Ice and The Post Star have the recaps.

New Jersey has four preseason games left, starting tomorrow night in Brooklyn against the Islanders. Then it’s back to back road games on Monday and Tuesday in Montreal and Philadelphia. My guess is more cuts would come by Wednesday at the latest, with Albany’s short preseason schedule starting up on Thursday night in Hartford.

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