4/25 Prospect Update: The Not So Grand Finale

Alexander Urbom got to play in his first NHL game of the season on Tuesday night against the Canadians - USA TODAY Sports

In the final prospect update of the season, Stefan Matteau was released from his team in the QMJHL, the Albany season comes to an end, and I look at the top prospects from the 2012-2013 season.

Welcome to the final prospect update of the 2012-2013 season! It was an eventful week, but not for the best reasons. Keep reading for a full update on each players stats and a few individual notes including my standouts from the season and more.

Playoff Stats:

NAME YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Graham Black 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos C 5 1 3 4 -2 2
Reid Boucher 1993 OHL Sarnia Sting LW 4 2 3 5 -6 4
Artur Gavrus 1994 OHL Owen Sound Attack RW 12 3 5 8 -2 2
Ben Johnson 1994 OHL Windsor Spitfires C - - - - - -
Stefan Matteau 1994 QMJHL Armada C 11 3 6 9 3 16
Reece Scarlett 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos D 5 0 3 3 -2 10
Damon Severson 1994 WHL Kelowna Rockets D 11 1 9 10 2 18
Ben Thomson 1993 OHL Kitchener Rangers LW 10 1 2 3 -1 18
Jon Merrill 1992 NCAA University of Michigan D 4 1 3 4 3
Blake Coleman 1991 NCAA Miami University C 4 1 2 3 4
Curtis Gedig 1991 NCAA Ohio State D 3 1 4 5 6
Blake Pietila 1993 NCAA Michigan Tech LW 2 0 1 1 -6
Derek Rodwell 1990 NCAA University of North Dakota LW 2 1 0 1 0
Seth Helgeson 1990 NCAA University of Minnesota D 4 0 0 0 -4
Joe Faust 1991 NCAA University of Wisconsin D 5 0 0 0 3

Goalie YOB League Team Position GP Mins W L OT/SOL SO GA GAA SVS SV%
Maxime Clermont 1991 ECHL Elmira G 3 180 1 2 0/0 0 13 4.33 80 0.86

Regular Season Stats:

NAME YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PPG PP SHG SOG SH%
Graham Black 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos C 66 24 26 50 4 0.76 7 0
Reid Boucher 1993 OHL Sarnia Sting LW 65 62 32 94 15 1.45 21 1
Artur Gavrus 1994 OHL Owan Sound Attack RW 18 5 6 11 0 0.61 1 0
Ben Johnson 1994 OHL Windsor Spitfires C 64 20 17 37 -28 0.58 4 0
Alexander Kerfoot 1994 BCHL Coquitlam Express C 16 8 11 19 1.19
Stefan Matteau 1994 QMJHL Armada C 35 18 10 28 19 0.8 7 1 121 14.88%
Reece Scarlett 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos D 65 8 39 47 13 0.72 1 0
Damon Severson 1994 WHL Kelowna Rockets D 71 10 42 48 38 0.71 5 0
Ben Thomson 1993 OHL Kitchener Rangers LW 65 13 15 28 -6 0.43 1 1
Jon Merrill 1992 NCAA University of Michigan D 17 2 6 8 2 0.47 2 0 21 9.52%
Blake Coleman 1991 NCAA Miami University C 36 8 8 16 6 0.44 2 0 116 6.90%
Curtis Gedig 1991 NCAA Ohio State D 28 2 8 10 6 0.36 2 0 44 4.55%
Blake Pietila 1993 NCAA Michigan Tech LW 32 14 9 23 -1 0.72 3 0 87 16.09%
Derek Rodwell 1990 NCAA University of North Dakota LW 29 1 1 2 0 0.07 0 0 38 2.63%
Seth Helgeson 1990 NCAA University of Minnesota D 36 0 5 5 -3 0.14 0 0 36 0.00%
Joe Faust 1991 NCAA University of Wisconsin D 36 1 0 1 1 0.03 0 1 27 3.70%
Player YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PPG PP SHG SOG SH%
Joe Whitney 1988 AHL Albany Devils LW 66 26 25 51 13 32 6 0 203 12.8
Matt Anderson 1982 AHL Albany Devils RW 67 13 30 43 2 42 2 1 171 7.6
Steve Zalewski 1986 AHL Albany Devils C 73 11 30 41 -4 52 1 0 144 7.6
Harri Pesonen (X) 1988 AHL Albany Devils LW 64 14 17 31 7 24 3 0 120 11.7
Jacob Josefson (X) 1991 AHL Albany Devils C 38 10 15 25 11 0.66 2 2 92 10.9
Mike Sislo (X) 1988 AHL Albany Devils RW 61 13 13 26 1 46 2 2 136 9.6
Andrei Loktionov (X) 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 40 7 15 22 3 0.55 1 2 84 8.3
Tim Sestito 1984 AHL Albany Devils C 67 7 16 23 -7 106 0 0 104 6.7
Eric Gelinas (X) 1991 AHL Albany Devils D 57 6 16 22 1 46 3 0 137 4.4
Adam Larsson (X) 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 33 4 15 19 -1 0.58 2 0 46 8.7
Mattias Tedenby 1990 AHL Albany Devils LW 37 10 9 19 -6 12 3 0 64 15.6
Phil DeSimone 1987 AHL Albany Devils C 44 9 10 19 -4 30 3 0 81 11.1
Brandon Burlon 1990 AHL Albany Devils D 53 1 16 17 9 25 0 0 48 2.1
Darcy Zajac 1986 AHL Albany Devils C 67 9 8 17 1 86 0 1 81 11.1
Chad Wiseman 1981 AHL Albany Devils LW 36 3 10 13 -8 27 0 0 55 5.5
Chris McKelvie 1985 AHL Albany Devils LW 47 4 10 14 -4 71 0 2 53 7.5
Jay Leach 1979 AHL Albany Devils D 60 4 10 14 9 63 0 0 51 7.8
Mike Hoeffel 1989 AHL Albany Devils LW 52 5 5 10 1 37 0 1 79 6.3
Adam Henrique (X) 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 16 5 3 8 1 0.50 1 0 40 12.5
Dan Kelly 1989 AHL Albany Devils D 47 2 6 8 10 62 0 0 34 5.9
Alexander Urbom (X) 1990 AHL Albany Devils D 68 0 8 8 -3 0.12 0 0 59 0
Corbin McPherson 1989 AHL Albany Devils D 72 2 5 7 8 43 0 0 70 2.9
David Wohlberg 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 36 4 5 9 1 26 0 0 51 7.8
Stephen Gionta (X) 1983 AHL Albany Devils C 11 2 3 5 -2 0.45 0 0 22 9.1
Raman Hrabarenka 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 34 1 4 5 1 18 0 0 46 2.2
Jon Merrill 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 12 1 7 8 -8 4 0 0 20 5
Reid Boucher 1993 AHL Albany Devils LW 11 3 2 5 -1 6 2 0 33 9.1
Kelly Zajac 1988 AHL Albany Devils C 14 2 2 4 2 0 0 0 12 16.7
Scott Parse (X) 1984 ECHL Trenton Titans RW 15 1 3 4 -7 0.27 1 0 18 5.6
Cam Janssen 1984 AHL Albany Devils RW 36 1 4 5 -2 65 0 0 13 7.7
Matthew Corrente (X) 1988 AHL Albany Devils D 11 0 2 2 -1 0.18 0 0 7 0
Bryan Haczyk (X) 1987 ECHL Trenton Titans RW 2 0 1 1 1 0.50 0 0 5 0
Jean-Sebastien Berube 1990 AHL Albany Devils LW 10 1 1 2 2 16 0 0 9 11.1
Stefan Stepanov 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 1 0 0 0 -1 0.00 0 0 0 0
Harry Young 1989 AHL Albany Devils LW 4 0 0 0 -2 0.00 0 0 1 0
Seth Helgeson 1990 AHL Albany Devils D 4 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 7 0
Damon Severson 1994 AHL Albany Devils D 2 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 3 0

Goalie YOB League Team Position GP Mins W L OT/SOL SO GA GAA SVS SV%
Maxime Clermont 1991 ECHL Elmira G 41 2333 20 13 3/2 0 126 3.24 1124 0.899
Jeff Frazee 1987 AHL Albany G 28 1653 8 14 0/5 1 71 2.58 881 0.916
Keith Kinkaid 1989 AHL Albany G 45 2644 21 17 0/6 2 120 2.72 1138 0.905
Scott Wedgewood 1992 AHLL Albany G 5 241 2 2 0/0 0 14 3.47 109 0.886

Albany Notes:

  • Damon Severson played in two of the three games this weekend and got two assists.
  • The team posted a "Thank You Fans" video on the site. You can watch it here.
  • Three Albany Devils were called up to New Jersey at the completion of the season. Eric Gelinas, Harri Pesonen, and Mike Sislo were brought up joining Jacob Josefson and Alexander Urbom who were called up earlier.
  • Urbom played in the Devils 3-2 win over the Canadians on Tuesday night.
  • In their last three games of the season, Albany went 2-1. Here is a brief recap of the contests:
    • On April 19, Albany defeated Connecticut 3-2 with two goals from Harri Pesonen and the game winner from Joe Whitney.
    • The following evening, Jeff Frazee posted his only shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Norfolk. David Wohlberg and Mike Sislo scored the two goals for Albany.
    • In their final game of the season, Albany fell to Adirondack 4-2. Mike Hoeffel scored a shorthanded goal and Harri Pesonen scored the second tally.

Albany Season in Review:

It was a disappointing season for Albany. They often teased us into thinking they could make a push to the playoffs and then went on a long losing streak. The team went 31-32-13 losing 12 in the shootout. It's amazing what a killer those extra points were for both Albany and New Jersey. They finished fourth in the Northeast Division and twelfth in the East - six points out of the playoffs. Only the Springfield Falcons made the AHL playoffs from the Northeast Division.

It is unknown what the coaching situation may look like in Albany next season. Coach Rich Kowalsky has acknowledged there is pressure on him after going 94-109-29 in his three years as head coach but general manager Chris Lamoriello said he isn't even looking to next season yet - they are still reflecting on the season that just ended.

The team was in a playoff position in mid-March but finished the season 4-12-2 (sound familiar?) dropping out of the postseason for the third straight season. They also had a lot of trouble on the powerplay converting on only 11.3% of their chances. Although the team scored many short handed goals, they also allowed a league leading twelve.

The following Albany Devils are unrestricted free agents:

Jay Leach - the 33-year-old is the captain in Albany.

"I do enjoy this organization. The Lamoriellos and I have had a good relationship. At the same time, I'm not an idiot. There are 10 defensemen, young kids, that need to play. ... I'd like to come back. I feel like there's unfinished business"

Chad Wiseman - limited to 36 games after an injury, the 32-year-old said,

"I'd love to get into coaching when my career is done, but I really hope that's not now. I feel like I can still get another two or three years out of this."

Matt Anderson - Anderson is 30-years-old and made his NHL debut this season.

"Fortunately, there is opportunity out there for me. I'll just keep forging ahead, wherever the road might take me."

Tim Sestito - the 28-year-old is an assistant captain for Alabny and is from the area.

"I love it here. This is a great town for myself and my family. We felt really comfortable here the last three years. We'll see what the future holds."

Cam Janssen - the 29-year-old is also an unrestricted free agent.

The restricted free agents are Jeff Frazee, Keith Kinkaid, and Joe Whitney. Each of these men was important to Albany during their time with the team so far. Jeff Frazee seems to be the odd man out in the goalie situation after playing his fifth season in the AHL. It seems that most agree Kinkaid and Wedgewood are the future in net. Joe Whitney was the team's scoring leader for the last two season and seems to be happy in the organization.

Matteau Drama:

As many of you have heard, Stefan Matteau was released from his team in the QMJHL. During the second period of a 2-1 loss to Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Matteau took an irresponsible penalty after the whistle and was benched for the entire third period. After the game, Matteau rode the bus home with the fans instead of his teammates. News came out the next day that the team has decided to release him for the remainder of the season. The General Manager of Blainville-Boisbriand, Joel Bouchard said,

"We demand two things from all our players – to play with effort in the team system and to be a good, respectful teammate. We’ve told him several times that his behavior was unacceptable in our organization and we often had to call him on the carpet this season."

While this is not the best news to read about a top New Jersey prospect who was selected in a year many thought was the time for the Devils to give up their pick from the Kovalchuk contract fiasco, it isn't the end of the world. Matteau is 19-years-old. He is very young and has a lot of growing up to do. This is somewhat comparable to when Merrill was suspended for part of the season last year in Michigan - he has grown up a lot since and his play has improved. Hopefully we will see some maturity from Matteau in the future. Lou Lamoriello has said he will have the opportunity to play in the New Jersey system next year, and if the Albany Devils were still in season, he would have had the opportunity to join them.

Trenton Titans Cease Operations:

Another newsworthy story from the past week is the cease of operations of the Trenton Titans. The Albany Devils have sent prospects down to the Flyers ECHL affiliate in the past when there was no room on the AHL roster. The team is not being shut down altogether, just yet. They will not participate in the 2013-2014 season and will figure it out from there. Any Devils contracted to the organization are still in the system.

Prospect Wrap-up:

It was a pretty exciting season for most of the New Jersey Devils prospects. With the lockout, it gave many fans the opportunity to learn more about the future of the Devils, and it was a great year for that. Some names that stood out the most in the write-ups were Stefan Matteau, Reid Boucher, and Jon Merrill. Each of them had a huge year for development. Perhaps the biggest moment for the prospects was following Reid Boucher as he broke the single season scoring record for the Sarnia Sting. On top of that, each goalie in the system got the chance to move up in the organization, whether that was Jeff Frazee and Keith Kinkaid making their NHL debuts or Scott Wedgewood and Maxime Clermont getting minutes in Albany.

Let's take a look at the top players in the system:

Top Forward:

It's pretty obvious that Reid Boucher was the best forward prospect this season. He broke the single season goal scoring record of 58 goals set by Steven Stamkos. He finished his season in Sarnia with 62 goals and 32 assists in 65 games. After a short stint in the playoffs in which he scored two goals and three assists in four games, he made his season debut in Albany. He only got to play eleven games with the Devils, but he made an impact by scoring three goals and two assists. Before starting with Albany, he signed an entry-level contract with New Jersey, so we could see him in a Devils uniform sooner rather than later.

Top Defenseman:

This pick wasn't as obvious as Boucher was for forward. I went with Damon Severson of the Kelowna Rockets. Severson had an impressive season in the WHL scoring 10 goals and 42 assists in 71 games. He was a part of Kelowna's record-breaking season in which the team won 52 games out of 72 (the most in team history) and winning first place in the B.C. Division of the WHL. The Rockets also came back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs to win their first series in overtime in game seven. Severson signed an entry-level contract with the Devils last September and played in the final weekend of the season with Albany. Although he only participated in two AHL games this season, he had two assists.

Top Goalie:

This was a tough category, as well. I will give the award to Keith Kinkaid. In 43 games with Albany, Kinkaid had 20 wins, 16 losses, and 6 shootout losses. With two shutouts, he had the most of the goalie prospects for New Jersey. While his numbers are not that impressive, he performed the best out of the four goalies in the system with his workload. He was also given the opportunity to play in his first NHL game and while he didn't play long, he played well and got this sweet save against Steven Stamkos:

I would also like to give props to Scott Wedgewood. He played 48 games for the Trenton Titans (32 more than any other goalie in Trenton) and posted a 20-22-5 record with one shutout. Although his numbers aren't impressive, neither was the team. He did all he could and was constantly complimented on his play by writers in the area.

That's it for the update this week and this season! Which prospects are you most excited to see next season? Are there any you hope to see make the jump to New Jersey? Who were your top players in each position this year? Feel free to discuss anything prospect related in the comment section below. Thanks so much for following the prospects with me this season! Now on to the draft!

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