One Part Skill, One Part Grit


ALBANY, NY – The first regular-season game hasn’t been played, but Rod Pelley and Mike Sislo have already accounted for a highlight-reel goal.

It came during the Sept. 24 New Jersey Devils preseason game at Philadelphia. Deep in the offensive zone, Pelley dished to Sislo, who went stick-to-skate-to-stick before scoring on a backhand…while falling down.

(VIDEO: Watch Mike Sislo’s preseason tally

“I think it was Jacob Josefson who first got the puck and then made a nice pass down to Pelley,” Sislo said. “I was calling for it and he made a no-look pass to me in front of the net. I was able to stop it with my skate, get it to my backhand and slide it in. It was a great play by those guys.”

In Albany, Sislo and Pelley have been skating along side Stefan Matteau. Pelley believes the line has a good mix of skill and grit, which will set an example for the entire team.

“I’ll let those guys skate,” Pelley said with a laugh. “No, I think it’s a line that we are going to work for our goals. Both guys (Sislo and Matteau) can shoot the puck. There is good speed on the line; we’re going to get in there and crash and bang. I don’t think it will be line that’s considered all skill. There is a good mix of getting pucks in deep, creating chances and getting good, quality, grade A momentum for the whole team.”

Entering his third season, Sislo has consistently found himself in Albany’s lineup. He has logged 123 games, producing 53 points (22g-31a). Pelley is back with the club after a year-and-a-half with the Anaheim Ducks organization. Previously, he split time with Lowell (AHL) and New Jersey between 2006-07 and 2011-12. His career totals include 80 AHL points (37g-43a) in 211 games and 29 NHL points (9g-20a) in 256 outings. Matteau, New Jersey’s first-round pick in 2012, appeared in 17 NHL games last season, registering three points (1g-2a).

The trio will have their first chance to make a mark on the league Sunday, when the Devils travel to Hartford for a 3 pm opener. Additional note from Thursday’s practice at Times Union Center, left-winger Ben Thomson was released from his tryout contract.



Goaltenders (3)
Maxime ClermontKeith KinkaidScott Wedgewood

Defensemen (9)
Brandon BurlonEric GelinasSeth HelgesonRaman HrabarenkaDan KellyCorbin McPhersonJon MerrillReece ScarlettHarry Young

Forwards (15)
Reid BoucherRiley BoychukMike HoeffelCam Janssen, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvieRod PelleyHarri PesonenTim SestitoMike SisloScott TimminsJoe WhitneyDavid WohlbergDarcy ZajacKelly Zajac



Devils work on special teams at the end of Thursday’s session


Mike Hoeffel works the penalty kill


Assistant Coach Sergei Brylin instructs the power-play unit

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