Devils Sign Boqvist to ELC

The Devils’ Public Relations department today put out a press release on the official website saying that the Devils and Jesper Boqvist have agreed to terms on an entry level contract (ELC). The contract is for three years.

Boqvist is a 20-year-old forward who played the last two years from 2017-18 to 2018-19 with Brynas IF of the Swedish Hockey League. Last season, his first full professional season in the SHL, he had a career high 13 goals, 22 assists for 35 total points. He also recorded 14 penalty minutes over his 51 games. He was in the top 20 in goals, top 16 in assists in the SHL and ended up “tied for second in points by players under the age of 21” all according to the press release put out by the Devils.

In total, he played in 98 SHL games, recording “16 goals and 39 assists for 55 points and 20 penalty minutes with a +13 rating. He added one goal and one assist for two points in 20 SHL playoff games” according to the presser.

The press release goes on to say that Boqvist is a 6-foot, 180-pound “native of Falun, Sweden” and won a silver medal at the 2016 Under-18 World Junior Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There, he played with Jesper Bratt on Team Sweden. The release said that he had two goals and an assist for three points in the seven games Sweden played there.

At the 2018 Under-20 World Junior Championship, he again won the silver with Sweden. In that tournament, he played with Fabian Zetterlund, who the press release notes is a recently-signed Devils’ prospect. In this tournament, he had a goal and a plus-3 rating in six games.

The press release noted that Adam Boqvist, Jesper’s younger brother, was taken by the Blackhawks in the first round (eighth overall) in last year’s Draft. Jesper was the Devils’ second round pick (36th overall) in 2017.

Boqvist also did a Q&A with Amanda Stein on the Devils’ website as well. In that interview, Boqvist told Stein that he is excited about signing with the Devils as it is “one step closer” to being in the NHL and that is “fun for [him] to think about.”

He also told Stein that the NHL was always his “ultimate goal” but that it was fun playing with Brynas IF in the SHL because that was his “favorite team growing up.” Now, however, he is focused on playing for the Devils and that is his dream now.

He said that he “was given a pretty big role on [Brynas IF]” in that he “played on the top line and the top power-play [unit]” and that that was a huge learning experience for him. He told Stein that the thing he learned the most from last season in the SHL was that playing against older competition showed him how strong pro players are and that you have to think the game smarter at that level. He joked that you also “need to play without the puck, too!”

When asked by Stein who he saw as his role model amongst Swedish players in the NHL, he said that Nicklas Backstrom of the Capitals is one (he grew up cheering for him on Brynas IF). He also mentioned former Devil and current Boston Bruin Marcus Johansson as the other player that he admired the most.

When Stein asked what he is trying to show Devils management this summer at camp, Boqvist replied that he can “(h)opefully… bring some offensive upside and touches and just play my game.”

Stein then asked if being a part of the Devils, with a young and talented roster of prospects, is something that is exciting for him. He replied that it is and that he has been trying to follow as much of New Jersey’s games as he can from Sweden. He also hopes to “be part of [the young talent] soon.”

The interview followed up with talk about Jesper’s brother Adam, who Stein pointed out plays for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Now that Jesper will be in North America, he will get to see his brother again. He joked that “right now, we’re just happy we both have phones!” He also said that it will be nice to be nearer to where Adam is playing. They had “always been on the same teams and city” but are now separated. So that will be nice for him.

Good luck to Jesper Boqvist as we head to Development Camp next month and, eventually, training camp in September.

Ty Smith Signs Entry-Level Contract

The Devils’ 2018 first round pick has signed his entry level deal with the team, General Manager Ray Shero announced today. Defenseman Ty Smith, selected 17th overall by New Jersey, has been inked for three years.

The 18-year-old (born March 24, 2000), lefty shot just completed his second season last year with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. According to the press release put out by the Devils, he had career highs in all statistical categories. He potted 14 goals and 59 assists for a total of 73 points in 69 games. He also had 30 penalty minutes and was a plus-44 plus/minus rating in those games. The press release also mentioned that “(h)is assist and point totals were the second highest in the WHL among rearguards.”

The press release says that in a February 23, 2018 game against the Prince George Cougars, Smith set a Spokane franchise record for points in a game with two goals and five assists. The Lloydminster, Alberta native also was named to the WHL’s Western Conference First All-Star Team and was the WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, winning the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy, last season.

Smith represented Canada internationally at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament where Canada won gold. He was captain of Canada’s IIHF U18 World Championship team that won that championship.

He also won a silver medal with Canada at the 2017 U17 WHC according to the press release and was also named to that tournament’s All-Star Team. According to Robert Murray, writing for the WHL’s official website, Smith also played in the 2018 Sport Chek World Junior Showcase that took place this summer in Kamloops, British Columbia. Murray said that he registered four assists in five games.

The press release goes back further in Smith’s hockey development, as it mentions that he played 2015-16 with the Lloydminster Midget AAA Bobcats and was named to the AMHL First All-Star team that year as well as being the league’s top defenseman. The Bobcats won the AMHL championship that year to boot.

Smith is 5′ 10″ and 170-pounds and will look to make an impact at this year’s training camp, as he did when he attended Devils developmental camp back in July.

Egor Yakovlev Inked to ELC

The Devils today announced that they have come to terms on a one-year entry level contract for defenseman Egor Yakovlev.

Yakovlev (which the press release mentions is “also listed in Russian as ‘Iakovlev'”) is a little bit older at 26-years-old and has played from 2012 to 2018 in the Kontinental Hockey League. The press release mentions that he spent three seasons with SKA St. Petersburg and three with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.

Last season with SKA St. Petersburg, the Magnitogorsk, Russia native notched five goals and four assists along with 14 penalty minutes in 35 games. His best career year, according to the press release, was 2016-17 when he set a personal best in assists with 15, points with 21 and plus/minus with a plus-30. SKA won the Gagarin Cup (the KHL’s championship) that season as well.

His KHL totals, according to the press release, saw the 6-foot, 190-pounder record 68 points (26 goals and 42 assists). He also had 210 penalty minutes and a plus-29 rating. His Gagarin Cup Playoff totals read ten points (two goals and eight assists) in 67 games. He also had 34 penalty minutes in the postseason.

The press release also notes his international accomplishments. He won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang with the Olympic Athletes from Russia team. He registered a single point (an assist) in five games.

The lefty-shooting d-man has also been to three World Championships with Team Russia (inlcuding this year when they did not medal). The 2014 team he was on won a gold medal and the 2015 team won a silver medal.

Although he is an older player, he does have some good experience, especially with the championship he won in 2017. The thing you always have to worry about is how the Russian imports will adjust to the NHL and the smaller rink. Obviously with a player like Sergei Kalinin, it did not work out. But it is only a one-year ELC, so it is not like there is a huge committment being made to him here.

Entry Level Deal for Devils’ Anderson

The Devils might be in the middle of a playoff battle with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but that does not mean that the business of hockey ends. The team and General Manager Ray Shero today announced that they have signed forward Joey Anderson of the University of Minnesota-Duluth to an entry level contract.

Anderson, 19, was the Devils’ third pick (73rd overall) in the 2016 Draft according to the press release the team put out. His contract will kick in “with the 2017-18 season” and he will skate with the team tomorrow as the press release notes that he was in New Jersey to sign the contract.

The 5-foot, 11-inch, 190-pound forward “just finished his sophomore season” with the Bulldogs, scoring 11 goals and 16 assists (27 points) with 20 penalty minutes according to the release. The Bulldogs won the NCAA Championship this year. They also reached the NCAA final last season (Anderson’s freshman year), but lost to Will Butcher and the University of Denver. Anderson was named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team his freshman year.

That season, he registered 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points, tied for second in scoring on the team in 39 games. He also registered eight PIMs.

The right-handed shooting forward and native of Roseville, Minnesota also played for Team USA in the last two World Junior Championships. He won gold in 2017 with the team where he had two assists in seven games. In 2018, he was named team captain and had four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games in a bronze medal effort.

Before the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Anderson played for the United States National Team Development Program. Prior to that, the press release states, he played two years with his high school team at Hill-Murray High School.

The press release also notes that Joey’s younger brother, Michael, who was his teammate this year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and with Team USA at the World Junior Championship, is a draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings (taken 103rd overall in 2017).

Studenic Inked to Entry-Level Deal

The Devils have locked up another draft pick to an entry-level deal. Marian Studenic, taken 143rd overall (fifth round) in the 2017 NHL Draft, has been signed for the 2018-19 season.

The 19-year-old forward played the last two years with the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. According to the Devils’ press release on their website, the Bulldogs just finished up their first round defeat of the Ottawa 67’s four games to one on Friday. The release says that Studenic had two assists in the series as Hamilton moved to the next round of the OHL playoffs.

In the regular season, Studenic notched 20 goals and 28 assists totaling 48 points according to the press release. That came in 62 games where he was also a plus-24. He ranked fourth in total points, goals and assists on the team – as per the press release and was second on the team in plus/minus rating.

As for a scouting report, the release said that the 6-foot, 165-pounder “played in all situations, scoring 12 power play points (4g-8a) and tying for second on the team with two short-handed tallies.” It said that last season, he had 18 goals, 12 assists for 30 points and 23 penalty minutes in the regular season. He also had two goals and a pair of assists for four points in the OHL playoffs in 2016-17, where he played seven games as Hamilton was ousted by the Kingston Frontenacs in a seven game series.

Internationally, the native of Holic, Slovakia has played in the last two World Junior Championships. He played youth hockey in Slovakia “with the HK Dukla Trencin and HK 36 Skalica programs.”

Devils Ink Seney to Entry-Level Deal

The Devils announced today via a press release on their website that the team has “signed forward Brett Seney to a two-year, entry-level contract.” The release says that the contract will kick in next season (2018-19).

Seney, the Devils’ fifth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, 157th overall, is a 22-year-old native of London, Ontario who has played the last four years with Merrimack College of Hockey East. The release says that “he will sign an AHL Amateur Try-Out Agreement and report to the Binghamton Devils” today (March 17).

The press release gives some of his college career highlights, stating that he completed his “career ranking 12th overall among all active Division I players with 42 goals, 73 assists for 115 points in 139 games.” He was a 2018 Hockey East Third All-Star Team member “during his senior season with a career-high 32 points, his second consecutive 30 point campaign.” He led Merrimack with 13 goals and 19 points this past season. He also ranked seventh in Hockey East in points, tied for ninth in goals and was fifth in power play points (18) and fifth in power play goals (seven).

The 5-foot, 10-inch, 175 pound left shooting forward “shared or led Merrimack in points in each of his four seasons.” He was “sixth overall in the nation among active Division I players with 11 career game-winning goals.”

The Devils are probably hoping they have found another gem in the later rounds of the NHL Draft, a la Jesper Bratt. Seney had a good career playing in a top NCAA conference in Hockey East. Hopefully that translates well to the NHL and everything works out for him and the Devils. Also, it is good to see the Devils lock up an NCAA prospect without him going to free agency as we have seen so often with players like the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey or the Devils’ own Will Butcher. Another prospect to develop in the system is always good for the parent team.

Bastian Signs with Devils

Today, the Devils Executive Vice President and General Manager, Ray Shero announced that the team had signed their 2016 second round draft pick, Nathan Bastian, to a three year, entry level contract.

Bastian, an 18-year-old right wing from Kitchener, Ontario, played the last two years with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. He will be entering his third season with the team this year.

So far this year, according to the Devils’ press release, he has four goals and six assists for 10 points in just six games. The press release says that he had “a career-high five assist night” versus the Guelph Storm in that span. He was a point-per-game player last year with 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points in 64 games played.

The press release notes that he played in the 2016 CHL Top Prospects game (with fellow Steelheads teammate and Devils draft pick Michael McLeod).

The Devils’ notes on him say that he is a right-handed shot, is 6-foot 4-inches and 205-pounds and participated in the Devils Development Camp back in July as well as skating in the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo. He was taken 41st overall in the Draft.

He was assigned back to Mississauga on October 1 after recording an assist in two preseason games.

Devils Ink Nick Lappin to Entry Level Deal

The Devils have given Brown University forward Nick Lappin a two-year entry level contract according to a press release on their official website. The news was confirmed by Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Devils Ray Shero.

The deal will kick in next season (2016-17) but according to the press release, he will report to the Albany Devils this year on an amateur try out agreement.

Lappin, a 23 year-old native of Geneva, Illinois and the son of former NHL player Peter Lappin (who played for the Minnesota North Stars in 1989-90 and one game for the San Jose Sharks in their inaugural season of 1991-92), played four years at Brown of the ECAC. He led the team in scoring in 2015-16 with 33 points. He also led the team with 17 goals and was third in assists with 16. He made the All-Ivy League First Team at the end of this past season.

Overall, Lappin played 123 games with the Bears, scoring 106 points (51 goals and 55 assists) to go along with 79 penalty minutes. His junior and senior years, he served as an assistant captain for the team. At Brown, he played with his cousin, Tim Lappin. According to the press release, he also played with his new Albany teammate, forward Matt Lorita at Brown.

Prior to his time at Brown, he played three seasons in the USHL from 2009 to 2012. He split time between the Cedar Rapids Roughriders and the Tri-City Storm in that league.

Lappin is 6-foot 1-inches tall, and a right-handed shooting forward. He played in the 2013 Liberty Hockey Invitational held at Prudential Center while he was a member of the Brown University Bears.