NOJHL alums Cormier, Appleby ink NHL deals

SUDBURY, Ont. – A pair Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League alumni signed National Hockey League contracts earlier this week as goaltenders Evan Cormier and Ken Appleby inked deals with the New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets respectively.

Cormier agreed to a three-year entry level contract that has begun during the current 2018-19 campaign and runs through 2020-21.

He had previously signed an American Hockey League contract with the Binghamton Devils back in January and boasts a 4-2 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .931 save mark along with one shutout with them.

Cormier was a fourth-round draft selection, 105th overall, of New Jersey in the 2016 NHL Draft.

In his NOJHL days, the Bowmanville, Ont., product spent the 2013-14 campaign manning the nets for the then North Bay Trappers where he was the youngest player in the league.

Facing more shots than any NOJHL goaltender at 1,310, Cormier finished fifth in save percentage at .910 and represented the league at both the Summer Select Showcase and the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

For his on-ice efforts Cormier was named a second team NOJHL all-star in goal.

As for Appleby, he signed a one-year deal with the Jets where he has spent the season with both of their affiliate teams, the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and the Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL).

He has gone 10-4 as a member of the Icemen with his .926 save percentage placing him fifth among ECHL goaltenders and has one victory in eight appearances with the Moose.

Appleby, who hails from North Bay, made his NHL debut with New Jersey on Jan. 20, 2018 and went on to appear in three games for Devils, going 0-1-0 with a 1.45 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.

The goaltender dressed for a total of 32 contests in hist NOJHL career with the then Kirkland Lake Blue Devils in the 2011-12 season, including three in the playoffs.

Eventually, he went on to help lead the Oshawa Generals to both an Ontario Hockey League title and a Memorial Cup crown in 2015.