This is just a quick post: college signing season officially begins today as college hockey seasons are over and players can sign with NHL teams. I’m sure you remember Jimmy Vesey signing with the New York Rangers last year. NCAA hockey has grown over the years and continues to produce good players.
According to news reports today, there are a few players the Devils are actively pursuing. Arguably, the two biggest signings will be Zachary Aston-Reese, who played for Northeastern University; he had 31 goals (63 points) in 38 games this season. Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Detroit are all pursuing him. He is from New York so a local team might interest him but the closest teams would arguably be Detroit and Pittsburgh.
St. Lawrence blueliner Gavin Bayreuther is also going to sign within the next two days and New Jersey is an option for him. Buffalo, Dallas, and Colorado are also pursuing him. He had eight goals and 21 assists in 30 games played this season. He is from New Hampshire so local teams (Buffalo and by extension, New Jersey) could both be good options, assuming he wants to stay local. He also has a few Devils connections: he is cousins with defenseman Ben Lovejoy and attended Devils development camp last summer.
The Devils are also interested in signing Tyler Kelleher, a forward from the University of North Hampshire, so we’ll likely hear more from them soon. Kelleher had 24 goals and 39 assists (63 points!) in 40 games this season (his best season at UNH). He is a bit undersized but that’s something that doesn’t pose a huge problem.
Both Kelleher and Bayreuther would be good signings. They have a lot of potential and they can add youth and speed to a team that’s looking to get younger and faster. The Devils’ defense is evolving and Bayreuther can be a huge asset there, and Kelleher has shown that he knows how to score, something that the Devils also desperately need more of. They’ll also continue to grow and learn as they adjust to a new system but they will be fun to watch no matter who they sign with.
Let college signing season begin!