Utica Comets Bring in Brian Halonen

The newest member of the Utica Comets, Brian Halonen, carries the puck for Michigan Tech. Photo credit: ccha.com.

The Utica Comets have signed Halonen to an ATO contract for the rest of the season.

The Utica Comets were the main beneficiaries of the New Jersey Devils’ dive into the college free-agent market when the Devils signed free agent Brian Halonen out of Michigan Tech to a two-year ELC contract. The contract was signed on March 27th and does not start until next season (2022-23), so for him to play professionally in the American Hockey League this season, it was necessary for him to sign an ATO (amateur tryout contract) with the Comets. For more details on the Halonen contract with the Devils, please see https://capfriendly.com.

Halonen is twenty-three years old and is a native of Delano, Minnesota. He has played four seasons for the Michigan Tech Huskies, where his four-season totals for the Huskies are:

  • Games played: 139
  • Goals: 53
  • Assists: 52
  • Points: 105
  • PIM: 113

This season was Halonen’s breakout season, as he scored twenty-one goals and twenty-three assists, to go with forty-nine PIM and a +21. For his efforts, he was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey. He was also named a first-team all-star for the CCHA – the conference in which Michigan Tech plays. Here is a scouting report on Halonen courtesy of https://stateofhockey.com:

“Known as a power forward with a shoot-first mentality, Halonen made history by becoming the first player to lead the newly formed CCHA conference in points (36) and goals (16) in conference play, earning him First Team all-conference recognition. His 132 shots on goal rank eighth in the nation while his 18 even-strength goals are the most in the country.

·      Currently has 21 goals, 23 assists for 44 points in 36 games – had an 11-game point streak

·      Mechanical Engineering major – has 10 siblings”

Neil Villapiano of The Devils State of Mind Podcast also has some thoughts on Halonen and the Utica Comets in general. You can check that out here:

This has been a big week for the Utica Comets as far as their roster goes. On Monday, the Devils reassigned AJ Greer and Kevin Bahl back to Utica. On Thursday it was announced that forward Tyce Thompson was coming back to Utica as well. With Halonen potentially making his debut on Friday night against Syracuse, the Comet’s post-season roster appears to be taking shape.

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