ALBANY, NY – Even though Adam Larsson appeared in 65 regular season and five playoff games with the New Jersey Devils last season, he is somewhat of a rookie at the American Hockey League level. The second-year pro is the only Albany Devil and one of very few players around the league who entered the season with NHL experience, but no AHL experience.
“Down here it’s a little more of 100-percent hockey,” Larsson said. “The adjustment standpoint has been pretty good so far. Most of the guys who have played [in the NHL] have helped me a lot in the beginning.”
Larsson was drafted fourth overall during the 2011 NHL Draft and earned a spot on the New Jersey opening-night roster last season. During the regular season, he produced 18 points with two goals and 16 assists. Although he is 19 years old, the Swede ranks seventh on the team for NHL games played.
“At the beginning of last year, I had a lot of ups and downs in my game,” Larsson said. “I think that you have that as a rookie. You aren’t used to the league and everything. That’s something I really don’t want to have this year and I think so far I’ve had a couple of periods when I’ve had ups and downs. During last season it was a tough league and it was hard to really get it going from the start, but once I kept going I felt pretty good.”
After six games with Albany he is third on the team with four points — all assists.
For the second-straight week, the Devils are facing the Connecticut Whale and the Adirondack Phantoms. According to Head Coach Rick Kowalsky, the familiarity has its advantages this early on in the season.
“I think right now it’s kind of nice to see some teams you know a little bit about,” Kowalsky said. “When you play teams for the first time this early in the season you are still trying to figure out some of their systems. Even some of the teams we played early, there isn’t a lot of history in an early season to pick up much as far as a pre-scout or systems. I think knowing a little bit or having some familiarity already with some of these teams is a good thing right now.
Friday’s game against the Whale includes a load of promotions. The team has partnered with Price Chopper for a food drive, which will benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Fans who attend the game and donate a nonperishable food item will receive a free ticket voucher to a future Devils home game.
Additionally, the first 500 fans to arrive will receive a free Devils t-shirt, courtesy of the Times Union. Also, its “SEFCU College Night” with $10 tickets for college students and a Happy Hour will take place between 6-7 pm for all 21-plus-year-old adults.
Making a special appearance before the game in front of Times Union Center on South Pearl St., is the iconic Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile.