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Devils ink eight to AHL contracts

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils
Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today announced the signings of eight players to American Hockey League contracts.  Signed were:  goaltender Dave Caruso;  defensemen Tyler Miller and Chris Murray;  and forwards Matt Anderson, Matt Lombardi, Jeff Prough, Myles Stoesz, and Darcy Zajac.  The announcement was made by Albany/Trenton Devils General Manager Chris Lamoriello.  As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.

Caruso, 28, has spent the past three years with the Devils’ organization.  The 6-1, 205-lb. goaltender appeared in 46 games with Trenton (ECHL) last season, posting a 21-20-2 mark with one shutout and 3.06 goals-against average.  Caruso split the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons between Lowell (AHL) and Trenton.  The 6-1, 205-lb. netminder originally signed with Lowell as a free agent on August 2, 2007.  Caruso made his professional debut in 2006-07 with Gwinnett (ECHL) and Chicago (AHL).  Not drafted, he signed with Atlanta (NHL) as a free agent  July 6, 2006.  Caruso played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Ohio State (CCHA), and was a member of the Buckeyes’ 2004 CCHA Championship team.  Born June 18, 1982 in Queens, NY, he was named to the CCHA All-Tournament Team in 2004, and honorable mention to the league’s All-Conference Team in both 2005 and 2006.
Miller, 23, joins the AHL Devils after spending four seasons at Northern Michigan (CCHA).  The 6-5, 215-lb. defenseman posted career highs of four goals and 15 points while appearing in 39 games last season.  Miller’s collegiate totals showed eight goals and 32 assists for 40 points and 117 penalty minutes in 134 career games played.  Born September 15, 1986 in Placentia, CA, he was New Jersey’s fifth choice and 107th overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  Miller played two seasons of junior hockey in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League for both Surrey and Penticton.

Murray, 25, will enter his second season with the organization and fourth pro season.  He split the 2009-10 campaign between Trenton and Lowell, seeing action in 46 games overall.  Murray originally signed with Lowell as a free agent on August 20, 2009.  The 6-2, 185-lb. defenseman played with both Hartford (AHL) and Charlotte (ECHL) in 2008-09.  In Murray’s first full pro season of 2007-08, he appeared in 61 games with Phoenix (ECHL), Lake Erie (AHL), Springfield (AHL), and Albany (AHL).  He made his pro debut by playing in one game with Phoenix in 2006-07.  Murray played four seasons at New Hampshire (HE), compiling 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points and 191 penalty minutes in 112 games.  Born December 26, 1984 in Dover, MA, he was named to Hockey East’s Second All-Star Team en-route to the league’s regular-season championship in 2006-07.
Anderson, 28, joins the AHL Devils after spending the previous three-plus seasons with Chicago (AHL).  The 5-11, 195-lb. center totaled 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points and 18 penalty minutes last season, and was a member of the Wolves’ 2008 Calder Cup Championship team.  Born October 31, 1982 in West Islip, NY, he signed with the Chicago as a free agent on March 30, 2006.  Anderson played four seasons at Massachusetts-Amherst (HE) from 2002-03 through 2006-07, but did not play in 2003-04.
Lombardi, 22, will attend his first pro training camp after spending the past four seasons at Boston College (HE).  He recorded seven goals and seven assists for 14 points and 14 penalty minutes in 42 appearances last season.  The 5-11, 190-lb. right wing was a member of the Eagles’ 2008 and 2010 NCAA Championship teams in three trips to the Frozen Four.  Lombardi also played for three Boston College Hockey East Championship teams, and was named tournament MVP in 2010.  Born November 9, 1987 in Milton, MA, his collegiate totals showed 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points and 44 penalty minutes in 145 games played.

Prough, 24, completed his second season with the organization/third pro season by leading Trenton with 30 goals and 61 points in 2009-10.  He also saw his first career AHL action by appearing in eight games with Lowell.  Prough’s 61 points with the ECHL Devils last season matched his output with the club from 2008-09, when he was acquired from Gwinnett (ECHL) in a trade on November 10, 2008.  Not drafted, the 5-10, 170-lb. right wing began his pro career by appearing in nine games with Florida (ECHL) in 2007-08.  Prough played four seasons from 2004-05 through 2007-08 at Brown (ECAC), where he compiled 49 goals and 60 assists for 109 points and 134 penalty minutes in 127 games.  He led the Bears in scoring during each of his last three seasons, including a career-high 33 points as a junior.  Prough was named to the Ivy League’s First All-Star Team in 2006-07.  He was born April 20, 1986 in Farmington Hills, MI.
Stoesz, 23, will enter his second full season with the organization and fourth pro season overall. He split the 2009-10 campaign between Trenton and Lowell.  Stoesz combined for five goals and three assists for eight points and 245 penalty minutes in 54 games last season.  The 6-2, 210-lb. left wing was acquired on March 2, 2009 from the Thrashers’ organization.  Stoesz spent his first two pro seasons with Gwinnett (ECHL).  He was Atlanta’s eighth choice and 207th overall selection in the 2005 Entry Draft.  Stoesz played three-plus seasons of junior hockey with Spokane (WHL), until being selected by Chilliwack in the league’s expansion draft.  He was born February 15, 1987 in Steinbach, Man.
Zajac, 23, made his pro debut by appearing in two games with Adirondack (AHL) last season. The 6-1, 205-lb. right wing played four seasons at North Dakota (WCHA), where he totaled 24 goals and 30 assists for 54 points and 145 penalty minutes in 166 appearances.  Born September 23, 1986 in Winnipeg, Man., he was a member of the Fighting Sioux’ 2010 WCHA Championship Team, as well as 2009 regular-season championship squad.  He was honored as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete this past season.  Zajac played two seasons of junior hockey at Salmon Arm (BCHL).  He is the younger brother of Devils’ center Travis Zajac.

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