The Devils announced today the signing of college free agent Brian Halonen to a 2-year Entry Level Contract. The forward will also sign an American Hockey League Amateur Tryout Contract and report to the Utica Comets this week.
The ELC will kick in for the 2022-23 NHL season.
The 23-year-old winger from Michigan Tech had 21 goals and 23 assists (44 points) over 36 games with the Huskies this past season. That was sixth in the NCAA with those 21 goals and his 44 points was good for eighth overall in the NCAA. He finished first in the nation in five-on-five goals according to the Devils’ PR department’s press release on him.
Halonen finished the season as a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award – he will be going up against Devils draft pick and University of Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes.
Halonen was named to the All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First Team in the postseason this year after he led the CCHA in total points (36) as well as goals in conference games this season.
He played in 138 total games in his four years at Michigan Tech (spanning 2018-19 to 2021-22) and had 53 goals and 52 assists over that time totaling 105 points. The 6-foot tall, 215-pound winger also had ten game-winning goals in his collegiate career.
In 2018-19, he won the Michigan Tech Huskies’ Norbert Matovich Memorial Outstanding Freshman Award. He had 12 goals and nine assists for 21 points in his rookie season.
He is a native of Delano, Minnesota and played two seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League prior to his time at Michigan Tech.
During the 2017-18 season, his 35 points placed him third on the Buccaneers in points and his 19 assists was tied for first. He also had 16 goals that season with Des Moines.
In addition to that, the Devils also announced that forward AJ Greer and defenseman Kevin Bahl have been sent back to Utica.