Walsh Signs Entry Level Deal

This news actually comes from yesterday, but with a new work schedule, I might be a little late to things from here on out.

The Devils announced on Monday that defenseman Reilly Walsh has signed a three-year entry-level contract. Walsh was selected in the third round, 81st overall in 2017 out of Harvard University (ECAC).

The 21-year-old blueliner played three years with the Crimson (2017 to 2020). According to the press release put out by the Devils, he had career highs in 2018-19 with 12 goals and 19 assists totaling 31 points in 33 NCAA games.

Last year, Walsh, who shoots right-handed, racked up eight goals plus 19 assists, accumulating 27 points – good for second in the ECAC. The press release also notes that he was “named to the All-Ivy League Honorable Mention Team this year” notably because he was tied for fourth in assists and fourth in power play points (six goals, nine assists for 15 points) in Ivy League competition.

In 2017-18 (his freshman year), he was named to the ECAC’s All-Rookie Team and in 2018-19 (his sophomore year) he was an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention Team member.

At Harvard, he ended his career with 27 goals, 51 assists and 78 points notched over 96 games.

“We are excited to add Reilly to the Devils’ organization. Since being drafted in 2017, our staff has watched him blossom into the leader he is today, both on and off the ice. Walsh is a fast, puck-moving defenseman who has developed his all-around game this past season. He was a dynamic playmaker for Harvard, with an offensive mind that allowed him to easily transition and jump up into the play if needed. He has the skillset our club is looking for and adds to our stable of defensive professional prospects joining the organization,” said Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald about the Andover, New Hampshire-native.

Walsh, who was born April 21, 1999, is a 6-foot, 185-pound prospect, the son of former NHLer Mike Walsh. Mike Walsh played with Tom Fitzgerald in the American Hockey League as well as at the NHL level (with the New York Islanders in the late-1980’s).

Reilly Walsh played high school hockey at Proctor Academy and also with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League prior to attending Harvard. According to the press release put out by the club, his younger brother, Ronan, played for Proctor this past season and has committed to the University of Vermont.

A Devils-Centric Recap of the World Junior Summer Showcase

The 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase ended this past Saturday with the USA being edged by Canada 6-5 and Sweden defeating Finland 5-3.

The games were played at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, British Columbia and featured those four teams playing a series of games from July 30 to August 4.

The Devils had five players in the showcase, including Fabian Zetterlund of Sweden, newly-drafted Ty Smith of Canada, Reilly Walsh of the US, Aarne Talvitie of Finland and Eetu Pakkila of Finland. This showcase acts as a kind of warmup to the World Junior Championship, to be played this December and January in Victoria and Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Zetterlund of Sweden played in five games in the tournament, notching two goals and six penalty minutes. Those two goals placed him second on the team in goals, and tied with three other players for third in total scoring with two points.

Canada’s Smith played in all three of their games and notched two assists for two points. That tied him for second in team scoring with seven others. Note that the US and Canada had split squads with Canada having a “red” and “white” team and the US having a “white” and “blue” team in addition to their main teams. Some players got playing time on multiple teams.

Reilly Walsh of Team USA played in five games, netting an assist. The lone assist put him in second place in scoring tied with 11 other players in the short-format tournament.

As for the Finns, Talvitie was the player of the tournament for the Devils, potting four goals in five games to pace all Finnish skaters in scoring. He also had two penalty minutes. Pakkila played in four games but did not register on the scoresheet.

Overall Ty Smith was getting rave reviews from people who saw every game, as was Talvitie. We will find out more about these players as training camp gets underway next month.

The results of the tournament saw USA-Blue fall to Sweden 3-1 and USA-White defeat Finland 5-2 (Talvitie had a power play goal in this one) on July 30. July 31 had Finland get by Sweden 4-3 in a shootout (Talvitie had a goal and missed in his shootout attempt) while USA-Blue beat Canada-White 3-2 and USA-White beat Canada-Red 7-5.

The tournament proper got started on August 2 with USA defeating Sweden 5-4 (Zetterlund scored in the third period of this one for the Swedes) in overtime and Canada notching past FInland 4-3 also in OT. Talvitie scored a clutch shorthanded goal in the third period that tied things up at three, eventually forcing the overtime period.

On August 3, the US beat Finland 2-1. Here, Walsh had the primary assist on a power play goal by Grant Mismash in the second period. Also, Sweden fell to Canada 4-1. Smith had the primary assist on Alex Formenton’s goal with three seconds left in the second period.

On August 4, the final day of the tournament, Canada defeated Team USA 6-5 while Sweden took out Finland 5-3. In the Canada-USA game, Smith had the secondary assist on a first period power play goal by Nick Suzuki and Talvitie had a first period power play goal in the Finland-Sweden game.

As you can see, this is a very evenly matched series of games which bodes well for the competitive nature of the World Juniors this winter.