Who will score for the Albany Devils?

Joe Whitney led the Albany Devils in scoring last season. Can he do it again? - Bruce Bennett

Last week I talked about goaltending, but another great question is who will score for the Devils AHL affiliate? A few guys left and there are some newcomers - this post takes a look at who we may see on the scoresheet.

In my post Sunday about Scott Wedgewood, NJMetal15 posed an interesting question - who will score goals for the Albany Devils? Some vital players on a mediocre Albany team signed elsewhere and the team had enough trouble scoring with what they had. The Albany Devils were 22nd in scoring with 193 goals scored during the 2012-2013 regular season and went 31-32-13, which landed them 12th in the Eastern Conference in the AHL. Here is a reminder of what the team looked like last year:

#

Player

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

PP

SHG

SOG

SH%

9

Joe Whitney

66

26

25

51

13

32

6

0

203

12.8

29

Matt Anderson

67

13

30

43

2

42

2

1

171

7.6

15

Steve Zalewski

73

11

30

41

-4

52

1

0

144

7.6

18

Harri Pesonen (X)

64

14

17

31

7

24

3

0

120

11.7

11

Bobby Butler (X)

37

16

11

27

11

8

5

1

105

15.2

19

Mike Sislo (X)

61

13

13

26

1

46

2

2

136

9.6

10

Jacob Josefson (X)

38

10

15

25

11

29

2

2

92

10.9

12

Tim Sestito

67

7

16

23

-7

106

0

0

104

6.7

10

Andrei Loktionov (total) (X)

40

7

15

22

3

6

1

2

84

8.3

MCH

37

7

15

22

6

6

1

2

81

8.6

ALB

3

0

0

0

-3

0

0

0

3

0.0

24

Eric Gelinas (X)

57

6

16

22

1

46

3

0

137

4.4

21

Mattias Tedenby

37

10

9

19

-6

12

3

0

64

15.6

34

Phil DeSimone

44

9

10

19

-4

30

3

0

81

11.1

5

Adam Larsson (X)

33

4

15

19

-1

24

2

0

46

8.7

23

Darcy Zajac

67

9

8

17

1

86

0

1

81

11.1

7

Brandon Burlon

53

1

16

17

9

25

0

0

48

2.1

37

Chris McKelvie

47

4

10

14

-4

71

0

2

53

7.5

2

Jay Leach

60

4

10

14

9

63

0

0

51

7.8

16

Chad Wiseman

36

3

10

13

-8

27

0

0

55

5.5

26

Mike Hoeffel

52

5

5

10

1

37

0

1

79

6.3

25

David Wohlberg

36

4

5

9

1

26

0

0

51

7.8

14

Adam Henrique (X)

16

5

3

8

1

12

1

0

40

12.5

28

Dan Kelly

47

2

6

8

10

62

0

0

34

5.9

5

Jon Merrill (X)

12

1

7

8

-8

4

0

0

20

5.0

6

Alexander Urbom (X)

68

0

8

8

-3

64

0

0

59

0.0

33

Corbin McPherson

72

2

5

7

8

43

0

0

70

2.9

20

Reid Boucher (X)

11

3

2

5

-1

6

2

0

33

9.1

22

Stephen Gionta (X)

11

2

3

5

-2

4

0

0

22

9.1

41

Raman Hrabarenka

34

1

4

5

1

18

0

0

46

2.2

14

Cam Janssen

36

1

4

5

-2

65

0

0

13

7.7

17

Kelly Zajac

14

2

2

4

2

0

0

0

12

16.7

20

Scott Parse (X)

15

1

3

4

-7

8

1

0

18

5.6

22

Jean-Sebastien Berube

10

1

1

2

2

16

0

0

9

11.1

8

Damon Severson

2

0

2

2

2

0

0

0

3

0.0

8

Matthew Corrente (X)

11

0

2

2

-1

32

0

0

7

0.0

38

Bryan Haczyk (X)

2

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

5

0.0

31

Jeff Frazee

28

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

35

Keith Kinkaid

45

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

0.0

40

Maxime Clermont (X)

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

36

Stefan Stepanov

1

0

0

0

-1

0

0

0

0

0.0

39

Seth Helgeson (X)

4

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

7

0.0

32

Harry Young

4

0

0

0

-2

7

0

0

1

0.0

1

Scott Wedgewood

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

BENCH

76

3

32

3

TOTALS

76

193

326

516

32

1163

36

10

2226

0.085

Of the top three scorers last season, only Joe Whitney is returning. Matt Anderson signed with Spartak Moscow in the KHL and Steve Zalewski will be playing with Lukko of the Finnish Elite League. Beyond those three, only five other players scored at least ten goals - Harri Pesonen, Bobby Butler, Mike Sislo, Jacob Josefson, and Mattias Tedenby. Of those five, Bobby Butler has been gone since the middle of the 2012-2013 season while both Tedenby and Josefson will get their shot in the NHL, so they may not be with Albany. That leaves Albany with Joe Whitney, Harri Pesonen and Mike Sislo as their top scoring forwards with a combined 52 goals and 108 points last season.

While there were a few major subtractions from the team, there will also be some additions. There are some important players that may be playing in Albany, though they will get a shot in the NHL first. Other than Josefson and Tedenby, Stefan Matteau will most likely be playing in either the NHL or AHL next season after a rough end to 2012-2013 in the QMJHL. He has some NHL experience and a lot to prove after the fiasco ending his time with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada - he could be a major boost to the Albany offense. Reid Boucher will most likely be playing in Albany next season as well. While he has yet to prove himself at the professional level, in just eleven AHL games, he had two goals and three assists.

I would expect Joe Whitney to have another strong season next year - he improved a great deal from 2011-2012 to this past season (eleven more goals in six fewer games) and I believe he will get even better. Depending on if they play in the AHL Tedenby, Josefson and Matteau would be major assets to the team. For example, while Tedenby had just ten goals and nineteen points on the season, he also appeared in just 37 games due to a major injury - while he has been disappointing in the NHL, he does find success in the AHL.

It is tough to predict who will definitely be in the Albany Devils lineup when the 2013-2014 season starts, so it's tough to guess who will be scoring, but there are a few guys who are worth talking about as noted above. Of those who will most definitely be in the AHL to start the season, I would expect the most from Joe Whitney. As I wrote earlier, he has been steadily improving and he will have more of an opportunity with the other top scorers on the team gone. Harri Pesonen will also have to step up. He got a taste of the NHL last season, and hopefully that will give him more drive than ever to impress at the AHL level. Behind them are the likes of Tim Sestito and Phil DeSimone who were less than impressive.

Not all of the Tedenby, Josefson, Matteau, and Boucher crew will make the NHL. There will be more than one of them starting the season in the AHL with plenty of NHL forwards already signed. Any combination of these players should help the Albany Devils on the scoresheet.

Who do you expect to lead the Albany Devils in scoring next season? Of Tedenby, Josefson, Matteau, and Boucher, who do you expect to see in the NHL vs. the AHL? Who do you think can step up and score more with the loss of Anderson and Zalewski? Feel free to discuss your thoughts below. Thanks for reading!

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