UTICA — The New Jersey Devils signed four players — forwards Chase DeLeo, Brian Flynn, Joseph Gambardella and defenseman Robbie Russo — to two-way contacts.
DeLeo signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the AHL level. The 25-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, splitting time in the NHL and with their AHL affiliate in San Diego. In 2018-19, the left-shooting forward set professional career highs scoring 20 goals and 35 assists in 66 regular-season games with San Diego. A veteran of 365 regular season AHL contests with Manitoba and San Diego, from 2015-16, DeLeo has 90 goals and 132 assists. In addition, the La Mirada, Calif., native appeared in 28 postseason games, tallying seven goals and six assists.
Flynn signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $280,000 at the AHL. The 33-year-old spent the last two seasons with HC Ambrì-Piotta in the National League in Switzerland, skating in 112 contests, posting 27 goals and 49 assists. A veteran of 137 regular season AHL contests with Rochester, Texas and San Antonio from 2011-12 to 2018-19, Flynn has 35 goals and 54 assists and 42 penalty minutes. In addition, the Lynnfield, Mass., native won a Swiss Cup with HC Ambrì-Piotta in 2019. Prior to signing with New Jersey, Flynn played for Buffalo (2012-13 to 2014-15) and Montreal (2014-15 to 2016-17) at the NHL level. In his 275-game NHL career, he has posted 27 goals and 34 assists. In 2013-14, he played in a career high 79 NHL games with the Sabres, notching 13 points. Undrafted, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward played four seasons, 2008-2012, with the University of Maine, captaining the team his senior season.
Gambardella signed a two-year contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level in 2021-22 and $750,000 at the NHL level and $320,000 at the AHL level in 2022-23. The 27-year-old spent parts of the last five seasons (2016-17 to 2020-21) with Bakersfield, a veteran of 183 regular season AHL contests with Bakersfield, Gambardella has 63 goals and 48 assists. In addition, the Staten Island native represented the Condors in the 2019 AHL All-Star Game. Prior to signing with New Jersey, Gambardella played for the Oilers during the 2018-19 season. In his 13-game NHL career, he has posted three assists. Undrafted, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward played four seasons, 2013-2017, with UMass-Lowell.
Russo signed a two-year contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $280,000 at the AHL level in 2021-22 and $750,000 at the NHL level and $320,000 at the AHL level in 2022-23. The 28-year-old spent last season with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL), skating in 34 contests, posting two goals and 13 assists. A veteran of 358 regular-season AHL contests with Grand Rapids, Tucson and San Jose, from 2015-16 to 2020-21, Russo has 31 goals and 145 assists. He served as an alternate captain during his two-year tenure with Tucson. In addition, the Westmont, Ill., native won a Calder Cup with Grand Rapids in 2017 and skated in the 2016 AHL All-Star Game. Prior to being drafted 95th overall by the New York Islanders in 2011, the 6-foot, 185-pound blueliner played four seasons, 2011-2012 to 2014-15, with the University of Notre Dame, winning a national championship in 2013.
The Comets home opener inside the Adirondack Bank Center is set for Oct. 17, the 34th anniversary of the Utica Devils’ inaugural game. The 2021-22 season schedule is on Uticacomets.com.