East Rutherford, NJ - (July 24, 2006) – The New Jersey Devils signed four free agents: forward Rod Pelley, and defensemen Tomas Harant, Mike Mottau, and Johnny Oduya. All four will attend the team’s training camp in September. The announcement was made by Devils CEO/President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
Pelley, 21, spent four seasons at Ohio State (CCHA), where he registered 47 goals and 41 assists for 88 points and 160 penalty minutes and was selected to the conference’s Second All-Star Team in 2005. The 6-0, 200 lb. forward’s college career also included trips to the 2004 and 2005 NCAA Tournaments, while capturing the 2004 CCHA Championship where he was named to the All-Tournament Team. Prior to college, Pelley spent the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons with Prince George and Vernon (BCJHL). In 2002, he played in the league’s All-Star Game and was named to the First All-Star Team. Pelley was born September 1, 1984 in Kitimat, British Columbia.
Harant, 26, has spent his entire career in Europe and last season played with Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic, scoring two goals and seven assists while adding 90 penalty minutes in 45 contests. He tallied four goals and two assists in ten playoff games. Harant was also a member of Slovakia’s team at the 2006 World Championships held in Riga, Latvia. The 6-3, 200 lb. backliner was Nashville’s eighth choice and the 173rd overall pick in the 2000 Entry Draft. Harant was born April 28, 1980 in Zilina, Slovakia.
Mottau, 28, spent the 2005-06 season with Peoria (AHL) scoring eight goals and 48 assists for 56 points while accumulating 81 penalty minutes, as well as skating in the AHL PlanetUSA All-Star Game. The 6-0, 190 lb. rearguard spent parts of three NHL seasons with the NY Rangers and Calgary, skating in 23 games overall and tallying three assists. Mottau was New York’s tenth choice, and 182nd overall selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons at Boston College (HE), scoring 27 goals and 130 assists for 157 points and 232 penalty minutes. Mottau’s assist total still ranks first all-time in school/conference history, while his point total is the most by a defenseman both at B.C. and in Hockey East. He was an NCAA East First Team All-American twice (1999 and 2000), named to the 1998 Second Team, and was awarded the 2000 Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top U.S. collegiate player. Mottau helped Boston College reach the NCAA Frozen Four three times and capture the 1998 and 1999 Hockey East Championships. His B.C. teammates included Brian Gionta and Scott Clemmensen. Mottau’s international experience includes the 1998 World Junior Championship and three World Championship appearances for the United States. He was born March 19, 1978 in Quincy, MA.
Oduya, 24, played the 2005-06 season with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League where he tallied eight goals and 11 assists along with 95 penalty minutes. He added one goal and two assists in 17 playoff games to help his club advance to the championship round. The 6-0, 200 lb. defenseman split his one season in junior hockey with Moncton and Victoriaville (QMJHL). Oduya was born October 1, 1981 in Stockholm, Sweden.