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NJ Opts For Brian Strait Over Yaroslav Dyblenko, BDevils Ink Tariq Hammond

A few surprises were announced earlier today concerning the blueline for the Devils’ Organization

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

Some movement came about on the blueline earlier today as veteran defenseman Brian Strait was re-signed to a two-year, two-way contract by New Jersey while fellow D-man Yaroslav Dyblenko was waived. Binghamton Devils also got into the act when they announced the signing of defenseman Tariq Hammond.

Brian Strait

This was quite surprising as Strait wasn’t all that good while his play deteriorated as the season moved along. It was so bad for the 30-year-old I had him retiring as there was not a chance of him coming back. Boy was I wrong.

I suppose he’s needed for a leadership role as he wore the A for the majority of the 2017-’18 campaign, but all eyes will be on him beginning in the fall and I hope he shows an improvement in consistency which was an overall problem last season for the BDevils.

Grades Report

84 / B, 80.87 / B-, 71.87 / C-, 69 / D+ (62 gms, 3g 5a)

Started out OK but showed a steady decline as the season progressed.

Yaroslav Dyblenko

It was a frustrating year for the 24-year-old native out of Surgut, Russia for his first pro experience on NA soil and it didn’t go all that well. Missed quite a few games as a healthy scratch as his play dictated, being a step behind at times and took his frustrations out with some heavy hits towards the end.

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

I don’t know if he wanted to return to his native land or was not wanted back (or a combination of both) as he won’t be missed.

Grades Report

74.66 / C, 68.25 / D+, Inc., 67.25 / D+ (54 gms, 2g 6a)

Wasn’t all that impressed with his numbers throughout each quarter.

Tariq Hammond

Small sample size as he was signed to an ATO late in the season although he appeared to have some talent with some good defensive work good enough for him to land a new one-year AHL deal it was announced today. The 24-year-old finished up his four years at the University of Denver with a National Championship before joining the BDevils near the end of the season.

Grades Report

Inc. (4 gms, 0g, 1a)

He’ll be one to watch next season.