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Signing John Moore Leads Devils First Day of Free Agency

NJ signs John Moore three-year deal.

John Moore (Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports)

John Moore (Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports)


The National Hockey League’s free agent period opened at noon on July 1 and the New Jersey Devils kept a low profile.

The Devils biggest move on the day was adding a defenseman. General Manager, Ray Shero announced the team has signed John Moore to a three-year, five million dollar deal. Moore, 24, entering his sixth season played for the New York Rangers last season, before being dealt to the Arizona Coyotes, in the Keith Yandle deal.

Moore helped team USA win a bronze medal in the 2015 World Championships. He began his career in the 2010-2011 season, with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. The Winnetka, IL native was drafted 21st overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Devils also made three other minor signings on the first day of the free agency period. They signed, Blake Coleman, their second choice in the third round of the 2011 entry draft to a two year two way entry-level contract.

Coleman will join the Devils organization after four years at Miami (Ohio) University. In 2014-2015 he ranked third on the Red Hawks in scoring with 20 goals and 17 assists in 37 games. The five foot 11, 200 pound, center from Plano, TX played his junior hockey in the United States Hockey League with the Indiana Ice and the Tri-City Storm. In 2010-2011, he was named USHL Player of the Year after captaining the Ice to a playoff berth, while leading the league in assists with 58 and points with 92.

Shero also announced that the team signed forward, Paul Thompson, to a two year two way deal as well. Thompson, 26, set a franchise record and finished tied for second in the American Hockey League with 33 goals for the Albany Devils last season. Prior to the 2014-2015 season, Thompson scored 39 goals in 200 AHL contests.

Thompson ranked second in the AHL with 13 power play tallies and was fifth in shots on goal with 237. The six foot one 205 pound forward’s four year professional career also includes three seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins under the guidance of new Devils head coach John Hynes, as well as stints with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL and the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.

On March 28, 2011, the Methuen, MA native, signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization as an undrafted free agent. He made his professional debut with the Baby Penguins against the Charlotte Checkers on April 1, 2011, after four years at the University of New Hampshire.

The final free agent signing of the first day teams were allowed to sign players, was forward Jim O’Brien to a one year two way contract. O’Brien joins the Devils after playing for the Hershey Bears of the AHL last season. While playing for the Bears he scored 10 goals and 19 assists in 32 regular season games.

The six foot two, 200 pound forward, from Maplewood, MN, began the season with Novokuznetsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League. O’Brien, was selected 29th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by Ottawa Senators.

He spent two seasons from 2007 to 2009 in the Western Hockey League with the Seattle Thunderbirds after winning the 2007 WCHA Championships with Minnesota.  O’Brien also played for the US Development Program from 2004 to 2006, winning a Gold Medal at the 2006 U-18 World Championships.

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