With the playoffs underway across hockey there are a few prospects from the New Jersey Devils still alive in pursuit of a championship, but with their AHL affiliate, Binghamton Devils just completing their season most of the future Devils will be now entering their offseason programs.
For the first part of this update we will look at how the goaltenders and defensemen in the pipeline did this season, and in part two we’ll check in on the forwards. *Currently still active in this first group are goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and defenseman Colby Sissons with a possibility of Colton White joining Blackwood in the ECHL with the Adirondack Thunder. All stats are through April 15.
Ken Appleby (New Jersey/Binghamton/Adirondack), signed as an undrafted free agent in October 2015:
Appleby has seen it all this year, going 1-1 in two games with the Thunder in the ECHL, he went 10-13-2 with Bingo in 26 appearances (two shutouts) and made three appearances in the NHL this season. Twice for New Jersey in relief he didn’t allow a goal (28 saves total) and then he made 24 stops in a 3-0 loss to Nashville on January 25 with both Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid sidelined with injuries. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Mackenzie Blackwood (Binghamton/Adirondack), acquired in 2015 NHL Draft (2nd Round/42 Overall):
MacBlack played most of this season with Binghamton but was unable to replicate last season’s AHL success and finished 7-17-6 over 32 games for the Devils; he also had one assist. In five appearances with the Adirondack Thunder he was 2-1-1, and now backstopping them in the ECHL playoffs he’s 2-1 with a shutout through the first three games
Evan Cormier (Saginaw Spirit), acquired in the 2016 NHL Draft (4th Round/105 Overall):
Cormier went 24-24-8 with Saginaw this season, his final season of eligibility in the OHL. In 202 career games with the Spirit, he was 77-80-17-5 in the regular season and 0-11 in the playoffs. His eight shutouts are a Saginaw franchise record.
Lewis in his NJ Devils hat signed by Spirit Goalie Evan Cormier while watching him close up for his last game with the Spirit! Wishing him well on his journey to NJ!! Best of luck Evan! 🏒🥅 #spiritnation pic.twitter.com/TUdSmF2G7q
— Cherie Novak (@CheriezTweetz) March 29, 2018
Cam Johnson (North Dakota/Binghamton), acquired as an undrafted free agent in March 2018:
After four seasons with the University of North Dakota Johnson signed an entry-level deal with the Devils and joined Binghamton on an ATO for the remainder of their season. He went 0-1-2 in three AHL appearances. In the NCAA he was 56-26-12 over 102 career games and had 12 shutouts which is second all-time at UND; his 56 wins are fourth in program history.
Gilles Senn (HC Davos), acquired in the 2017 NHL Draft (5th Round/129 Overall):
The 22-year-old netminder is built like the new-age goalie: 6’5” and has long legs for days to cover the bottom half of the net. In 30 games with HC Davos, his save percentage was .905 and he had a GAA of 2.92.
Jocktan Chainey (Halifax Mooseheads), acquired in the 2017 NHL Draft (7th Round/191 Overall):
Nico Hischier’s former teammate had a solid second season in the QMJHL with his point total jumping from 24 (4g-20a) to 40 (7g-33a). Chainey and Halifax were recently eliminated in the playoffs but he had a nice run with eight points (2g-6a) over nine games.
Jeremy Davies (Northeastern University), acquired in 2016 NHL Draft (7th Round/192 Overall):
The sophomore had a great season with the Huskies with 33 points (6g-29a) – good for sixth in the NCAA among defensemen. He was fourth on his team in points and half of his gals came via the power play. Davies has shown that he could be a late bloomer as he has improved his game in each of his first two seasons in the NCAA after playing in the USHL.
Yaroslav Dyblenko (Binghamton), signed as an undrafted free agent in April 2017:
In his first season of playing hockey in North America, Dyblenko had eight points (2g-6a) in 53 games on the blueline for Binghamton. The 24-year-old Russian scored both of his goals on the power play and is signed for one more season.
Tariq Hammond (Denver University/Binghamton), signed ATO as an undrafted free agent in April 2018:
Will Butcher’s former college teammate joined the Devils organization on April 3 after his NCAA season ended. He had 26 points (6g-20a) in 125 collegiate games and served as the team’s captain this past season. With Binghamton Hammond appeared in five games and recorded one assist.
Matthew Hellickson (Notre Dame), acquired in 2017 NHL Draft (7th Round/214 Overall):
As a freshman, Hellickson helped get the Fighting Irish to the NCAA Title Game where his team lost to fellow Devils prospect Joey Anderson and Minnesota-Duluth. He appeared in 40 games and chipped in 12 points (3g-9a), including a game-winning power play goal in a 2-1 win against Michigan on January 7.
Joshua Jacobs (Binghamton), acquired in 2014 NHL Draft (2nd Round/41 Overall):
In 55 games Jacobs had 16 points (1g-15a) in his second season as a pro in the Devils organization after netting nine his first season; his lone goal came in a 2-1 December loss at Utica. Prior to being drafted, he played one season in the OHL (Sarnia) and one at the NCAA level (Michigan St.).
Michael Kapla (Binghamton), signed as an undrafted free agent in March 2017:
After appearing in five games for New Jersey last season upon completing his collegiate career with UMass-Lowell, Kapla played the entirety of this season in the AHL and was second among Binghamton defenders with 21 points (5g-16a) over 63 games. He is a restricted free agent this summer.
Jacob MacDonald (Binghamton), signed as an undrafted free agent (AHL contract) in March 2017:
MacDonald had a goal and an assist in his season debut for Binghamton and never looked back after that, leading the team with 55 points (20g-35a) in 75 games. He led all AHL D-men in points and finished 18th overall in the league in scoring. Apparently, last year’s 24 points (8g-16a) in 34 AHL games was no fluke – he played in the AHL All-Star Classic and was named to the AHL First All-Star Team at the end of the season.
Steven Santini (New Jersey/Binghamton), acquired in 2013 NHL Draft (2nd Round/42nd Overall):
Santini started the season in New Jersey before being sent to Binghamton in February when Mirco Mueller was fully healthy and available to play. He scored a goal in his first AHL game this season and finished with six points (3g-3a) for Binghamton and had ten points (2g-8a) over the 36 games he played in the NHL this season. He’s currently back with New Jersey and on the roster for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s a restricted free agent this summer.
Colby Sissons (Swift Current Broncos), signed as an undrafted free agent in October 2016:
Sissons entered this season with 50 points in his first three seasons in the WHL and has exploded this season for 71 points (13g-58a) in 72 regular season games. His team is about to play a Game 7 against Moose Jaw and he’s added nine more points (1g-8a) in 13 playoff games. Sissons could be a nice find for a franchise that has been lacking young depth on defense.
Reilly Walsh (Harvard University), acquired in 2017 NHL Draft (3rd Round/81st Overall):
In his freshman year with the Crimson Walsh chipped in twenty points (7g-13a) over 33 games, including two game-winning goals. All seven of his goals came via the power play for Harvard and he was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team.
— Chris Sullivan (@nesalttax) October 22, 2017
Colton White (Binghamton/Adirondack), acquired in 2015 NHL Draft (4th Round/97th Overall):
In his first season as a pro White bounced between the AHL and ECHL a few times. In 47 games with Binghamton, he put up nine points (2g-7a) – with both of his goals coming in the same game (6-2 home win over Charlotte on December 27). In eleven games with Adirondack, he had four points (2g-2a). He is still eligible to join the Thunder for the remainder of the ECHL playoffs.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.