Binghamton Devils’ GM Tom Fitzgerald has his work cut out.
After two consecutive seasons ending in dismal results, fans are anxious for something to change for the upcoming events at 1 Stuart Street, otherwise known as the home of the Binghamton Devils at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown.
Out of the 16 players that are currently signed, 3 defensemen, 11 forwards and 2 goaltenders are set with the average age of 20.93 (excluding Brian Strait).
Evan Cormier will return fresh off his new contract and Gilles Senn will serve as his back up. However, if the organization brings in a vet, which they definitely should, Senn could see some time playing in Adirondack. Eddie Lack could be an option I’m willing to take.
Senn was recently signed as a former 5th round pick (#129 overall) by New Jersey in 2017. During his playing time for HC Davos of the NLA, the 23 year-old earned a 2.94 GAA, 0.904 SV% in 94 appearances. The 6’ 5”, Sweden will replace Cam Johnson in net, who was not offered a new contract.
Cormier had a record of 5-8-0, 2.96 GAA and a 0.902 SV% in 15 appearances for the BDevils last season. The 21 year-old also had 13 games at the start for U. of Guelph along with 6 playing for the Thunder. This will be his first full season coming up.
On The Blueline
The soon to be 20 year-old Jérémy Groleau will return after playing in just five games late last season for Binghamton recording a goal and an assist. The 6’ 3” defenseman out of St-Nicolas, QC, CAN will be his first full season at the pro level after playing the last four (2015-’19) in the QMJHL for the Chicoutimi Saguenéens (221 games 16 goals and 38 assists).
Brain Strait remains to be a question after suffering a brutal concussion just 10 games into the season for the BDevils that left him on the sidelines for the remainder of the calendar. His recovery is not quite known as he has one year left on his two-year deal.
That leaves Colby Sissons as he had a rough go at it in his rookie debut that included time playing for the Devils’ ECHL affiliate in Glens Falls, NY for portions of last year. I hope to see a new and improved Sissons in year two.
Defenseman Josh Jacobs has been offered a new contract that has yet to be signed. The 22 year-old has been a reliable, yet stable force on the blueline as I first shared about earlier on last season on a Q and A with a member of the Panel.
I’m anxious to see how Colton White (RFA) pans out as his stock continues to rise and with further patience in his development, could be a force sooner than later as I fully expect a new two-way deal in the works.
Cagey veteran John Ramage signed overseas as he was a steady influence in what was shaky grounds on the blueline for Binghamton while Ryan Murphy (Michael Kapla trade) will not return. Another vet in Eric Gryba was a disappointment. I have followed Gryba since his rookie season for the BSens back in 2010 including the Calder Cup run as we shall see if he is allowed another opportunity for the Devils.
New signings slated for Binghamton next season include 6’ 3”, 200 lbs. forward Mikhail Maltsev, the 2016 4th pick and #102 overall by New Jersey. The 21 year-old will venture to NA soil after recording 8 goals and 11 assists in 44 games between the KHL (SKA St. Petersburg) and the VHL ( SKA-Neva St. Petersburg) last season.
23 year-old forward Ludvig Larsson will return after his short stint in Binghamton late last season where he had a goal and an assist in 7 appearances. The 6’ 0”, 187 lbs. native of Sweden will embark in his first full season in the pros after completing the last four seasons in college for Merrimack (2015-’18) and Penn State Univ. (2018-’19) where he contributed a combined total of 33 goals, 37 assists in 130 games. Larsson played for BDevils’ head coach Mark Dennehy during his time at Merrimack College.
Another Sweden at the forward position is Fabian Zetterlund. Listed at 5’ 11”, 198 lbs., he was a round 3 pick and #63 overall by New Jersey in 2017. The 19 year-old will be making his pro debut on this side of the pond after many years competing for Färjestad BK at different levels, including International-Jr’s (2014-’18).
Others set to return are Nathan Bastian, Marian Studenic, Egor Sharangovich, Blake Speers, Nikita Popugaev (AHL contract), Brandon Gignac, Michael McLeod and Joey Anderson. Brandon Baddock has an offer on the table as well.
Most likely gone are forwards Nick Lappin (UFA), Blake Pietila (UFA) and Alex Krushelnyski (future considerations trade). Brett Seney (RFA) should be back with the influence of coach Dennehy being a factor with past ties of the collegiate level at Merrimack.
There’s been a rumor floating around that veteran Eric Tangradi could be re-signed and be the second Captain of the BDevils behind Kevin Rooney’s brief legacy last season. Tangradi had 10 goals with 14 helpers in 41 games for Binghamton and also skated for NJ recording an assist in six appearances. The 30 year-old would be a welcomed addition and a big locker room influence.
John Quenneville was dealt straight up for John Hayden as both looks to flourish in new surroundings. I partially expect Hayden to begin in a BDevils’ uniform but he could possibly land somewhere in the bottom six for NJ. As far as JQ, his time was up with the given opportunities that were granted by the parent club and possibly little to no motivation if he remained in Bingo.
My availability next week will be spotting at times with the holiday coming up but will keep the window open on twitter with all Binghamton Devils related. Thanks for reading!