It was a huge week for the Albany Devils. Six points were at stake, and six points were earned. Mike Sislo was a standout and Keith Kinkaid and Blake Coleman earned success in their first games back from injury.
|Artem Demkov (X)||1989||Albany||AHL||C||22||6||5||11||0.50||6||6||1||0||45||13.3|
|Jon Merrill (X)||1992||Albany||AHL||D||14||2||7||9||0.64||-1||0||2||0||20||10|
|Eric Gelinas (X)||1990||Albany||AHL||C||10||1||4||5||0.50||6||8||1||0||34||2.9|
|Riley Boychuk (X)||1984||Albany||AHL||RW||18||1||1||2||0.11||2||14||0||0||6||16.7|
|Harry Young (X)||1991||Albany||AHL||D||10||0||0||0||-1||15||0||0||3||0|
|Anthony Brodeur||1995||Gatineau Olympiques||QMJHL||G||27||1315:51:00||12||10||1||2||64||2.92||563||0.886|
|(X - not on active roster)|
|Artur Gavrus||1994||Dinamo Minsk||KHL||C||29||1||2||3||0.10||-10||8||1||0||35||2.86%|
|Vladimir Zharkov||1988||CSKA Moskva||KHL||RW||46||2||5||7||0.15||1||4||0||0||73||2.74%|
|Graham Black||1993||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||C||59||29||41||80||1.36||19||41||9||2||-||-|
|Myles Bell||1993||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||LW||60||39||30||69||1.15||24||40||9||1||-||-|
|Damon Severson||1994||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||D||55||14||40||54||0.98||44||44||5||1||-||-|
|Ben Johnson||1994||Windsor Spitfires||OHL||C||51||23||25||48||0.94||21||26||4||2||-||-|
|Ben Thomson (total)||1993||North Bay Battalion||OHL||LW||47||23||15||38||0.81||9||81||5||2||-||-|
|Ryan Kujawinski||1995||Kingston Frontenacs||OHL||C||35||16||13||29||0.83||0||27||6||0||-||-|
|Blake Coleman||1991||Miami Ohio||NCAA||C||19||12||6||18||0.95||9||45||3||0||70||17.14%|
|Alexander Kerfoot||1994||Harvard University||NCAA||C||22||7||6||13||0.59||2||6||2||0||35||20.00%|
|Blake Pietila||1993||Michigan Tech||NCAA||LW||35||8||19||27||0.77||-3||82||7||0||108||7.41%|
|Derek Rodwell||1990||University of North Dakota||NCAA||LW||21||5||2||7||0.33||3||16||0||0||44||11.36%|
|Miles Wood||1995||Brown University||NCAA||LW||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Joe Faust||1991||University of Wisconsin||NCAA||D||30||2||10||12||0.40||10||6||0||0||24||8.33%|
|Curtis Gedig||1991||Ohio State University||NCAA||D||22||1||4||5||0.23||2||8||1||0||34||2.94%|
|Steve Santini||1995||Boston College||NCAA||D||28||2||8||10||0.36||27||42||0||0||33||6.06%|
- The Albany Devils played another three-in-three this weekend and saw much more success than they have in recent ones. They won all three and those six points brought them back into a playoff spot. They sit 5th in the Easter Conference with 66 points, but there is just a three point difference between 4th - 9th place.
- In Keith Kinkaid's first game in two weeks, he led Albany to a 4-2 win over the Adirondack Phantoms. Mike Sislo had two goals and Adam Larsson had two assists. Stefan Matteau and Rod Pelley scored the other goals.
- Kinkaid helped Albany get their second win in as many nights with a 4-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals. Kinkaid made 25 saves while Matteau, Sislo, Reid Boucher, and Kelly Zajac scored for the Devils. You can check out the highlights here:
- In their final game of the weekend, Scott Wedgewood earned a win for the Devils in a 2-1 victory over the Utica Comets. Mike Sislo scored again along with Reid Boucher. You can see the highlights here:
- Mike Sislo had a huge week with four goals in three games. The goals included one on the power play and another shorthanded.
- Kelly Zajac is having an impressive season. Having played just 14 games for Albany last season and scoring just two goals and two assists, he is 3rd on the team in scoring this season with eight goals and 22 assists in 46 games.
- Eric Gelinas was called back up to New Jersey after playing in two games for Albany. He had one assist in the brief time he was able to play between the Olympic break and his recall.
- Keith Kinkaid saw a lot of success in his return from injury. He won both of his starts last weekend.
- Anthony Brodeur recorded his second shutout of the season in a 17-save effort 2-0 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
- Damon Severson scored 2 goals 3 assists in four games for Kelowna this week. The team has clinched a playoff spot and has lost only nine games in regulation this season. They have a 49-9-0-4 record.
- Blake Coleman returned from his shoulder injury last weekend and had two goals in his first game back. He had been sidelined since December 6th.
Prospect of the Week:
The prospect of the week is Mike Sislo. He scored four goals in three games for Albany and helped them win all of them. He has had a huge season, which included his NHL debut in January. In the AHL, he has already passed his point total from last season (63), has a career-high 17 goals and has been a huge leader for the Albany Devils. Head coach Rick Kowalsky said,
"He kills penalties, he's on the power play, he's out there for important faceoffs on both ends of the ice. He's going to be a key guy for us moving forward and is certainly a good sign to see him get on the board and score some goals, especially the way he did.
"I think the recall to New Jersey was certainly a big boost in his confidence. He's a guy that consistently does the little things right and now some pucks are starting to go in.
"Blocking shots, getting pucks in, that stuff has to be consistent and is. That's why he has a letter. Just the way he carries himself everyday in practice and games is the main reason we did it. But now, you see him step up in big games and that's the true sign of leadership."
Prospect Spotlight - Graham Black:
The 6" 184 lbs center was drafted by the Devils 135th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Level Draft. He is a strong two-way forward who sees the ice well. He is a strong skater and plays well with and without the puck.
In 59 games this season, Black leads the Swift Current Broncos with 29 goals and 51 assists. He already has 30 more points than last season in which he had 24 goals and 26 assists in 68 games. He has also stepped up as a leader on the team in which he is an alternate captain.
Last season was especially difficult for Black - he has been battling with Graves' disease and it kept him from playing his best. When asked about his illness, Black told Kelly Friesen of Buzzing the Net,
"It was a very tough thing to go through. I think it was my hardest season for hockey. It held me back in a year where I wanted to have a big season. I had trouble maintaining my weight and even lost 30 pounds in just two weeks early in the year. And with that I had problems sleeping and keeping my energy up."
While it is an understandable one, he doesn't like to use his disease as an excuse. While it has held him back throughout his career, this season seems to be a different story - he is tied for eighth in the WHL in scoring and is hoping to sign an entry-level contract with the Devils this year. Black is hopeful that his major struggles are behind him. He had surgery on his thyroid last February and it should help him keep his weight and energy up.
He has used players such as Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild to keep him going. Harding has struggled with Multiple Sclerosis but has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL this season.
Do you think Graham Black has what it takes to get an entry-level contract with the Devils and turn pro? Do you think he'll make it to the NHL level? What are your thoughts on certain players such as Mike Sislo and Kelly Zajac stepping their game up in Albany this season? Do you think the Devils will stay in the playoff race this weekend? Please discuss your thoughts on the prospects below. As always, thanks for reading!