ALBANY, NY — The transition from being a Bear to a Devil was seamless for Nick Lappin. Some might say it was better than expected. The 23-year-old signed an ATO with Albany on Mar. 10 after his four-year collegiate career ended at Brown University.
During his first six games, he registered three goals, including the game-winner on Mar. 13 against first-place Toronto, and two assists.
Then things became not so seamless. Lappin suffered an upper-body injury on Mar. 20 at Bridgeport and hasn’t played since, missing seven consecutive games.
Now with six games remaining in the regular season and with the Devils preparing for a three-in-three weekend, the right winger is ready to return.
“He’ll get a full practice with the team tomorrow with contact,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “Right now, he’s feeling good and, hopefully, he can pick up where he left off. He’s another guy who can add to our depth from the right side. He’s shown us a little bit of what he can do offensively. If we can get him in these last six games it is certainly going to give us good depth.”
Dan Kelly is another player attempting to return from injury. The six-year Devils’ defenseman sustained a lower-body injury on Mar. 11 at Binghamton and has missed 12 games. His return is a little ways away. However, he has resumed skating
“It’s a positive thing,” Kowalsky said. “It’s just real tentative day-by-day. I don’t think he will skate with the team. He just started to skate on his own. These first two skates are real light. We’ll see how he feels. We’d really like to get him a game before the end of the season. Right now, that’s wishful thinking. If anything and if he continues to progress maybe somewhere in that first round.”