The Devils have claimed Kenny Agostino off of waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. But this is no ordinary waiver wire pick up. Agostino is a New Jersey-native. Born in Morristown, raised in Flanders and having played at Delbarton in high school, he will now be suiting up for his hometown NHL club.
The 26-year-old forward will become the third New Jersey born and/or raised player to play for the team following Jim Dowd and his new teammate Kyle Palmieri. When asked by NewJerseyDevils.com’s Caela McLoughlin about playing against Palmieri in high school, Agostino had this to say: “I do remember him. I played him in my freshman year, I believe. And well, I remember him being the best player on the ice, obviously!”
After graduating high school in 2010, Agostino attended Yale University where he won a NCAA Division I championship in his junior year (2012-13 season). He graduated from Yale in 2014 and had already been drafted by the Penguins in 2010.
The Pens (whose General Manager at the time was Ray Shero) selected him 140th overall in 2010. He told McLoughlin that he had also worked with Devils’ coach John Hynes and assistant Alain Nareddine during his time with Pittsburgh. “It’s been a few years since my last development camp with the Penguins. But I do remember them well. It will be nice to have some familiarity with the way they work – especially when coming to a new team.”
McLoughlin states that he was traded to the Flames on March 28, 2013 with Ben Hanowski and the Penguins’ first round pick in 2013 in the trade that brought Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh. He never played an NHL game for the Penguins.
He played two years in Calgary, getting in only ten games at the NHL-level before signing as a free agent with the Blues in 2016. In 2017 he signed with the Bruins and, finally, was a free agent signing last July 1 for the Habs.
McLoughlin says that he had two goals and 11 points in 36 games this year for Montreal. According to Hockey-Reference.com, his NHL career totals include 58 games played, four goals, 13 assists for 17 points, a minus-6 plus/minus rating and 32 penalty minutes. All of his goals have come at five versus five and all but five of his assists have also come at even strength. (Those five were all on the power play.)
He told McLoughlin that he was “immediately excited for the opportunity” to be playing for the Devils. He told her “I’m a hard-working guy, a two-way forward. Hopefully, I can fit in and help the team in whatever way that I can. Obviously, it’s pretty special to have the chance to play for my hometown team and be so close to my family and friends.”
McLoughlin said that Agostino is Delbarton’s “all-time leading scorer with 261 points” a record he still holds. She said that he had 83 points (50 goals and 33 assists) in his senior year of 2009-10 and was named the “New Jersey Player of the Year by the Newark Star Ledger in both 2009 and 2010.”
In addition to Palmieri, McLoughlin said that Agostino and Steven Santini (who is also from the NYC area) “train at the same gym in the offseason, so there will be one friendly face when he meets up with the team.”
Agostino will join the Devils in St. Louis tomorrow for the first game of their road trip.