Since the New Jersey Devils are in the middle of their five-day bye week, I figured now would be a great time to travel down on the farm and take a look at some of what is going on in Binghamton.
The AHL All-Star Classic is coming up on January 28 and 29 in Utica, New York and the Devils will be well represented at the festivities. Firstly, forward Bracken Kearns will be one of the playing captains along with Brett Sutter of the Ontario Reign.
The Binghamton press release says that Kearns is in his first season with the Devils organization, having played 12 previous pro seasons in professional hockey. He has played in 692 regular season games in the American Hockey League (at the time of the press release’s writing on December 19, 2017) and 35 regular season and seven playoff games in the National Hockey League, spread out over the Florida Panther, San Jose Shark and New York Islander organizations. He made one other AHL All-Star appearance in 2013 with the Worcester Sharks.
Kearns is 36 years-old and leads Binghamton Devils “with 15 assists and is second overall on the team with 20 points in 27 games played this season.” Again, this is from the press release from December, he now has 22 points in 35 games.
Kearns, a native of West Vancouver, British Columbia, was undrafted out of the University of Calgary and began his pro hockey career with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL. He got his first NHL call up in 2011-12 with the Panthers.
He said that he was surprised by the selection but that he is “really excited about it.” He said that it is “a fun time and always interactive with the fans” adding “I didn’t have kids last time, so hopefully they can come down to ice level and check it out.”
The Binghamton Devils’ other representative in the AHL All-Star Classic is defenseman Jacob MacDonald. He was named to the All-Star team on January 4.
According to the Devils’ press release, MacDonald leads Binghamton defensemen “with 24 points in just 34 games played after being signed to a PTO from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.” MacDonald, 24 years old, has also spent time with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL) and Springfield Falcons (AHL). He also leads the Devils and the AHL among defensemen in power play goals with six and is tied on the team with 15 assists. He is first amongst d-men in the AHL with eleven goals and is second overall in points with 26.
MacDonald is a 6-foot, 208-pound native of Brighton, Michigan who attended Cornell University, notching 21 points in 104 games there over four years. He is a graduate of the United States Hockey League prior to college, where he spent two years with the Waterloo Black Hawks.
Good luck to both men participating in the AHL All-Star Classic.