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Best to Wear #20 – Jay Pandolfo

Jay Pandolfo, Best to Wear #20NUMBER: 20
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″
WEIGHT: 190
POSITION: Left Wing
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: December 27, 1974
BIRTHPLACE: Winchester, Massachusetts

The Devils drafted Jay Pandolfo as the 32nd overall pick in the 1993 draft.  Pandolfo started his career as a Devil during the start of the 98-99 season. Some say his first season with the Devils was his best. He scored 14 goals and 27 points in 70 games.

Pandolfo has two Stanley Cup wins with the Devils. The first one in 2000 and the second in 2003. Pandolfo scored his first career hat trick on October 31, 2007 agaisnt the Tampa Bay Lightning. His first hat trick was also the first hat trick in the Prudential Center.

Jay Pandolfo’s 307 consecutive game streak came to an end on November 30, 2007  with a pelvic injury. He curently holds forth longest franchise record for consecutive games played. The current leader is Travis Zajac. Jay Pandolfo currently plays for the New York Islanders.

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
819 99 124 223 15 154 2 7 19 1068 9.2%

Best to Wear #18 – Sergei Brylin

Sergei Brylin, Best to Wear #18NUMBER: 18
HEIGHT: 5’10”
WEIGHT: 190
POSITION: Center
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: January 13, 1974
BIRTHPLACE: Moscow, Russia

When fans think of the New Jersey Devils‘ three Stanley Cups, fans usually think of the same players: Daneyko, Niedermayer, Brodeur, and Stevens. However, Sergei Brylin is also a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils.

Brylin was drafted in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

After debuting during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, Brylin played the next 12 seasons with the Devils. While he wasn’t your  top superstar, Brylin brought something valuable to the team.

Brylin was regarded as one of the best utility men in the game. While his game was usually defensive minded, Brylin could always fill any gap that the Devils had. He has played as a scoring forward, center, winger, penalty killer, powerplayer, first liner, fourth liner, he’s done it all. Except, he never was a defenseman.

Brylin signed away from the NHL after the 2007-08 season when the Devils didn’t offer him a deal.

He has made several attempts to come back to the Devils, but they have never been successful.

He currently plays for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the KHL in Russia.

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
765 129 179 308 49 273 34 2 14 1016 12.7%

Best to Wear # 2 – Viacheslav Fetisov

Viacheslav FetisovNUMBER: 2
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″
WEIGHT: 215
POSITION: Defenseman
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: April 20, 1958
BIRTHPLACE: Moscow, Russia

The Devils Army overwhelmingly voted Viacheslav Fetisov as the best player to wear #2 for the New Jersey Devils. Fetisov recorded over half of the votes (56.6%) and the next closest, was over 240 votes behind.

Before entering the National Hockey League, Fetisov played with Russian Club,  HC CSKA Moscow for 11 seasons. He had expressed his interest to play in the NHL; however, due to Soviet rules, he was not allowed to. Fetisov says the Soviet Minister of Defence at the time gave him an ultimatum to either apologize or be sent to play in the Ukraine.

Eventually, Fetisov led a group of eight Soviet hockey players into the NHL. Soviet hockey officials decided to allow Soviet players to play in the NHL, as long as they competed for the Soviet Union in International competitions.

In the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, not only did the Devils pick John MacLean at sixth overall, but they also picked Fetisov in the very same draft….. 139 picks later. Fetisov was drafted in the eighth round, at the 145th overall pick. Here’s a little piece of trivia: Fetisov was actually drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1978, but was not able to play in the NHL at the time.

In Fetisov’s rookie season in 1989-1990, he collected a career high eight goals, and 42 points.

Fetisov played with the Devils until the 1994-1995 season when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, the Devils eventual opponents in the Stanley Cup. Here’s interesting trivia, part two: While playing for Detroit, Fetisov’s defense partner was Mike Ramsey. The two played against each other in the historical Miracle on Ice game. 

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
546 36 192 228 -6 656 8 2 4 662 5.4%

I want to thank everyone who voted in this poll, and I also want to say that there will be no Best to Wear #3 or #4. Check back on Tuesday, we’ll be voting for Best to Wear #5.

This week in IIHF World Championship

Patrick Elias, Czech Republic IIHF Championship

Patrick Elias, Czech Republic

The IIHF World Championship continued this week and even though Team USA is out, we’ve still got a few guys to root for.

This week opened up on Wednesday with the Czech Republic’s shut out win over the United States sending Mark Fayne and Nick Palmieri home.

Mattias Tedenby helped Sweden knock down Czech Republic, and Patrick Elias’ two goals, with an assist during their 5-2 win on Friday. Sweden will now face Finland with Anssi Salmela for the Gold medal on Sunday in Bratislava.

Including Elias’ two goals on Friday, he has put up four goals and five assists overall, leading the team with nine points in eight games.

Salmela and Finland shut out Russia 3-0, leaving Ilya Kovalchuk battling Elias and the Czech Republic for Bronze. Kovy scored the game winning goal in Russia’s victory over Canada (sorry Zajac!), it was his first goal of the tournament. He has earned six points in eight games with one goal and five assists.

The final games will both be played on Sunday, May 15th. The battle for Bronze will be at 10AM ET and Gold at 2:30PM ET.

Here’s this weeks breakdown.

Wednesday, May 11 
Czech Republic 4, USA 0 –  Elias, 2 SOG
Sweden 5, Germany 2

Thursday, May 12 
Finland 4, Norway 1 – Salmela, 4 SOG
Russia 2, Canada 1 – Kovalchuk, GWG

Friday, May 13
Sweden 5, Czech Republic 2 – Elias, 2g; Tedenby, 1a
Finland 3, Russia 0

Devils play in World Hockey Championship

Kovalchuk & ZajacToday is the first day of the 75th annual IIHF World Championship being held in Slovakia. As any other world championship, several countries scoop up their best players into a team and go at it for the title. This tournament is made up of 16 teams, broken down into 4 groups and play for a little over 2 weeks for hockey supremacy.

The World Hockey Championships conflict with the NHL Playoff schedule, so it isn’t very popular in North America, but Devils fans have a reason to take interest! Our own Travis Zajac is playing with an A for Canada and Ilya Kovalchuk is leading the Russian team.

A few other Devils are playing for their respective teams. Nick Palmieri and Mark Fayne are on Team USA. Anssi Salmela is playing for Finland, Patrik Elias on Czech Republic and Tedenby on Sweden.

Plus, the word is VERSUS will be covering a few games with Matt Loughlin as one of two rotating hosts and special guest analyst, Zach Parise.

If you’re missing the Devils in all the playoff action you can still get excited for our boys over in Slovakia. Check with VERSUS for up to date schedules, they’ve got a few TBD’s as of right now. First game up for them should be Saturday the 30th at 10AM when USA takes on Austria.

Photo Credit: Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
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