Some Utica Comets notes on a busy news day
The Utica Comets will be busy on Friday night when they take the ice to face the Cleveland Monsters at the Adirondack Bank Center, and the team also kept the newswire busy all day before the game. Let’s take a look at some of the Comets news making the rounds.
The New Jersey Devils have placed goaltender Jonathan Bernier on the injured reserve list. According to Devils reporter Amanda Stein, this is because of a potential long-term hip injury. To fill Bernier’s spot, the Devils have recalled Akira Schmid from the Comets to backup New Jersey starter MacKenzie Blackwood.
Schmid is having a great season so far for the Comets to say the least. His record currently stands at 8-0-2-0 with a GAA of 1.60 and a .944 save percentage. Included in these totals are two shutouts, which were back-to-back. Schmid had been spitting the goaltending duties in Utica with Nico Daws, who is having a fine season himself.
Speaking of Daws, he will not be available for either Comets or the Devils for the foreseeable future. He was injured in a collision in his crease during the Comets game on Wednesday night in Rochester. He was forced to leave the game and appeared to have injured his right leg, as he could not put any weight on it coming off of the ice. According to Ben Birnell of the Utica OD, it looks like it will not be a short-term injury that Daws has suffered.
As his tweet notes, the Utica Comets have recalled goaltender Marek Mitens from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL, and have a signed goaltender Corbin Kaczperski to a PTO (professional tryout). Mitens has a record of 7-4-1-0 with a GAA of 3.12 and .902 save percentage in thirteen games played for the Thunder so far this season. The twenty-five-year-old Kaczperski has been with the Vermillion County Bobcats of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) and Worcester Railers of the ECHL this season prior to joining the Comets. With Vermillion County, he had a record of 1-4-1 with a 4.93 GAA and a .891 save percentage, and had no record with Worcester.
UPDATE: Per AHL Transactions, goaltender Corbin Kaczperski has been released from his PTO by the Utica Comets
Alexander Holtz to join Team Sweden
The Comets will lose another piece of their team soon, albeit temporarily when Alexander Holtz leaves to join Team Sweden for the 2022 World Junior Championship. The World Junior Championship is an annual ten national team tournament that features the best players under the age of twenty in the world. At the age of nineteen, Holtz is eligible to play and was a heavy favorite to be selected to represent his native country of Sweden. The tournament begins on December 26th in Edmonton and Red Deer Alberta Canada and runs through January 5th, 2022. Depending on when he leaves to join Sweden, Holtz could spend approximately two weeks away from the Comets.
Possible future Utica Comet signed by the New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils recently signed nineteen-year-old (soon to be twenty) defenseman Shakir Mukamadullin to a three-year entry-level contract that carries an AAV of $925,000. Mukhamadullin was selected by the Devils in the first round (twentieth overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and has played thirty-four games this season with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League, totalling three goals and four assists. Like Holtz, he will play in the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament, but Mukamadullin will be representing his home country of Russia. It is unknown when Mukamadullin will make his North American debut, or if it will be in Utica, but his contract with the Devils does have a European Assignment Clause according to CapFriendly, meaning he can choose to play in Europe or the KHL over the next two seasons if he chooses to.