New Jersey has signed forwards Brain Gibbons and Bracken Kearns and defenseman Brian Strait to one-year, two-way contracts worth $650,000 at the NHL level.
Gibbons, 29, spent the 2016-17 season with Albany (AHL) and posted career-highs with 16 goals and 36 points in a team-leading 72 games played (tie; Ben Thomson). The forward also had 20 assists and 38 penalty minutes during his first season with the Devils’ organization. Gibbons finished third on the A-Devils in points and assists (tie; Blake Coleman). In addition, Gibbons notched one goal in four Calder Cup Playoff matches. On Oct. 4, 2016, he signed a one-year AHL contract with Albany after attending New Jersey’s 2016 Training Camp as a professional tryout.
Kearns, 36, spent the past two seasons with the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 2016-17, he played in two games with the Islanders and had two penalty minutes. The left-shooting forward also skated in 74 regular-season games with Bridgeport as an alternate captain and reached new career highs with 23 goals (tie, 2015-16), six game-winning goals and 152 shots. He led all Sound Tigers in points (51) and goals for the second consecutive season. Through 665 regular-season AHL contests, from 2005-17, Kearns has 162 goals and 233 assists for 395 points and 687 penalty minutes. In addition, the North Vancouver, B.C., native skated in 21 career Calder Cup Playoff contests, notching two goals and nine assists.
Strait, 29, spent the 2016-17 season with the Winnipeg Jets’ organization where he split time between the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and Winnipeg. He tallied two assists in five regular-season NHL games with the Jets as well as two goals and 14 points in 58 games with Manitoba. The left-shooting blueliner matched his previous AHL career high with 12 assists (also 2011-12 & 2009-10) and had a career best 84 shots on goal. Through his six-plus season NHL career, Strait has six goals and 23 assists for 29 points and 91 penalty minutes in 187 regular-season games. He also had one goal and 16 penalty minutes in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff contests.
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Devils Sign Defenseman Brian Strait