TROY, NY – Darcy Zajac broke into the league the same year, the Devils shifted their AHL operation to Albany. Now approximately two weeks from the beginning of their fourth season, Zajac is an elder statesman on the team’s current training camp roster.
“As you go on, you learn more and you want to kind of give back to the younger guys,” Zajac said. “From what I’ve seen, these young guys are a good group. They are willing to work and willing to learn. As long as I go out there and show them that I’m willing to compete every night, I think they will follow suit.”
During 2010-11, Zajac appeared in 32 games with Trenton of the ECHL before earning a steady roster spot in the AHL. That season he played 40 games, producing four goals and five assists.
“It was exciting and it was, obviously, a step closer to where I want to be in the future,” Zajac said. “It was a little nerve wracking at first too. You don’t know all the guy yet. You are fighting for a spot and you just want to go out there and compete. I think that’s where you see players grown. If they get challenged and if they take that challenge and take it to the next level.”
The past two years, the Winnipeg, MB native combined for a 133 AHL games with 66 in 2011-12 and 67 in 2012-13. During his sophomore campaign, he registered a career high 24 points with eight goals and 16 assists. Last year, he had 17 points with nine goals and eight assists.
“He’s a real good two way player,” Hoeffel said. “He’s very responsible and dependable in the defensive zone. He brings that offensive upside too. He’s a good centerman to play with.”
Zajac’s younger brother Kelly is also on Albany’s roster, while big brother Travis is with New Jersey.
Goaltender (1): Maxime Clermont
Forwards (13): Reid Boucher, Riley Boychuk, Alexandre Carrier, Artem Demkov, Dmitry Goldenkov, Mike Hoeffel, Chris McKelvie, Harri Pesonen, Ben Thomson, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac
The Devils will get a sneak peak of their opening night opponent Thursday when they travel to face the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7 pm. Albany begins the regular season at Hartford on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 pm.