The Devils continued to sign free agents despite most of the big names being off the table, adding pieces for the team for here while also stocking Binghamton of the AHL.
Bracken Kearns comes to the Devils from the Islanders organization, signing a two-way contract. The contract is worth $650,000 at the NHL level. Kearns is a 36 year old, 6-foot, 195-pound North Vancouver, British Columbia native. The forward has skated in 35 NHL games (with Florida, San Jose and the Isles) with 25 of them coming in 2013-14 with the Sharks, according to the press release put out by the Devils. He worked his way up from the University of Calgary in Canadian collegiate hockey to the Toledo Storm of the ECHL and on to the AHL and NHL. He is an eleven year pro.
In the AHL, he has skated for the Cleveland Barons, Milwaukee Admirals, Norfolk Admirals, Rockford IceHogs, San Antonio Rampage, Worcester Sharks and most recently with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders affiliate). His totals at the American League level show 110 goals and 156 assists for 266 points in 473 games. He also has 496 penalty minutes.
The Devils also re-signed one of their own. Brian Gibbons, who played last year at Albany of the AHL, signed a two-way pact with the organization worth $650,000 at the NHL level.
Gibbons, a 29 year old, 5-foot, 8-inch, 175-pound forward has played in the Pittsburgh, Columbus and Rangers organizations prior to coming to the Devils. He has played 66 NHL games for the Pens and the Blue Jackets. The Braintree, Massachusetts native went to Boston College before turning pro six years ago.
Last season, the Devils’ press release says that he had a career high in goals (16) and points (36) and tied for the Albany team lead with 72 games played. He was originally a Pittsburgh free agent signee out of college and played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL, where he was coached by John Hynes.
The other late signing by the Devils was Brian Strait, who got a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level. He comes to the Devils from the Winnipeg organization. where he spent time with the Jets and the Manitoba Moose of the AHL last season.
The 29 year old, 6-foot, 1-inch, 205-pound defenseman from Waltham, Massachusetts played at Devils coach John Hynes’ alma mater of Boston University. He later played under Hynes at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship in 2006 according to the Devils’ press release.
He, like a lot of recent Devils signees, has Pittsburgh roots. He was drafted by the Penguins 65th overall in the third round in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft accoding to the press release. He has spent time in the Pens, Islanders and Jets organizations prior to his signing today.
Last year, with the Moose, he played in 58 games and scored two goals and 12 assists for 14 points total. He played in five NHL games last year for Winnipeg and had two assists.
In news going the other way, Devils restricted free agent Jacob Josefson (who was not tendered an offer) has signed a one year contract with the Buffalo Sabres worth $700,000. Good luck to Josefson in Buffalo.
The Devils signings are largely at the AHL level and are to fill out the Binghamton roster. But maybe one of the signings can bear fruit and one of these veterans can fill in when injuries hit or even make the team out of training camp.