The New Jersey Devils announced today that they have renewed Albany Devils head coach Rick Kowalsky’s contract for two seasons.
Kowalsky, 44, is the reigning Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding coach. During the 2015-16 season, he guided the AHL Devils’ to their best record in franchise history, while managing a roster that saw only four players skate more than 50 games. Albany’s 46-20-8-2 record for a .671 points percentage finished ranked third in the AHL and second in the Eastern Conference. The team advanced to the Division Finals for the first time in franchise history.
“We are excited to have Rick continue to lead the development of our young players in the AHL and at the same time compete for a Calder Cup,” said New Jersey Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald. “Rick has established himself as one of the top coaches in the AHL and we are certain he will continue to operate at a high level.”
Since being appointed to his current position prior to the 2010-11 season, Kowalsky has produced a 217-179-26-38 record with a .541 points percentage in 460 games coached. He is the third longest tenured coach in the AHL behind Roy Sommer (San Jose) and Ken Gernander (Hartford). This past season, Kowalsky earned his 200th career AHL victory during a 3-2 overtime victory on Feb. 14 against Bridgeport.
As the bench boss of the New Jersey Devils top developmental team, Kowalsky has helped develop more than 50 players who have played for both Albany and New Jersey. Players he helped mentor include Joseph Blandisi, Reid Boucher, Seth Helgeson, Adam Henrique, Keith Kinkaid, Jon Merrill, Damon Severson and Scott Wedgewood.