So much has happened over the last 24 or so hours, it needed its own post before the weekend recap. And you’ll be quizzed on this later, so pay attention!
Before I head down to The Rock for the final New Jersey game of the season (I’ll be hanging out in 120), let’s get everyone up to speed on quite a few roster moves:
-Just after the pregamer hit Friday, New Jersey sent Mike Sislo, Blake Pietila, and Vojtech Mozik back to Albany. Sislo finished with 3 goals and 1 assist in 18 games. Pietila appeared in 7 games in his first callup, scoring once and picking up an assist. Mozik appeared in 7 games and was scoreless in his first taste of the NHL. Pavel Zacha was assigned from Sarnia (OHL) to Albany, then recalled by New Jersey. He is expected to make his debut this evening.
-During Albany’s win in Syracuse later in the day, three more draft picks were signed to entry level deals, with two of those players possibly making their debuts tonight: defensemen Steve Santini and Josh Jacobs, and forward Miles Wood. Jacobs, a 2014 second rounder and a teammate of Zacha’s in Sarnia, will immediately join Albany on an ATO. In 67 games with the Sting, he put up 24 points (4 G, 20 A) and a +26 rating, and had 5 assists in 7 playoff games.
Santini and Wood, teammates at Boston College, are likely to make their NHL debuts tonight. Santini, a 2013 2nd rounder, has been touted as New Jersey’s best defensive prospect, and is foregoing his senior season to sign. He appeared in 41 games this season with the Eagles, scoring once and handing out 18 assists.
Wood is a 2013 4th rounder who just completed his freshman season at BC after spending three seasons in the prep ranks. In 37 games he scored 10 goals and assisted on 25 others.
-And finally, congratulations to Albany head coach Rick Kowalsky, who won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL Coach of the Year! He was chosen by a panel of media and other coaches in all 30 AHL cities. All he’s done this year is lead the team to the third best record in the league despite an ever changing roster. The only coach the Albany Devils have ever known and the third longest tenured coach in the league, he has a lifetime record of 214-203-38. Amazing what happens when you stick with one guy despite several cries during the lean years to fire him…