Devils name Kowalsky head coach in Albany

The New Jersey Devils today named Rick Kowalsky as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Albany Devils and also announced that Tommy Albelin will serve as an assistant coach with Albany.

Kowalsky, 38, joins Albany after four seasons as head coach of the ECHL’s Trenton Devils, where he compiled a record of 138-122-28 = 304pts (.528) and was the recipient of the 2009 John Brophy Award as the league’s top coach. He was named to the position May 8, 2006, after spending one year as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals.

Kowalsky’s professional playing career spanned 12 seasons, and included six teams/two leagues in North America. A right wing, he captained the ECHL’s Trenton Titans to the 2005 Kelly Cup Championship in his final season as a player. Kowalsky participated in the 1995 and 2003 ECHL All-Star Games, serving the North team as captain in 2003. He totaled 221 goals and 329 assists for 550 points and 979 penalty minutes in 516 career regular-season ECHL games, and also showed 92 points (35-57-92) in 183 AHL games for Cornwall, Portland, and Norfolk.

He made his pro debut with Cornwall (AHL) in 1993-94 after being originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1992. He helped lead Sault Ste. Marie to back-to-back OHL Championships in 1991 and 1992, and captained the Greyhounds to the 1993 Memorial Cup Championship.

Born March 20, 1972 in Simcoe, Ont., Rick and his wife, Debbie, have three children: Dylan, Sydney, and Ryan.

Kowalsky takes over command of New Jersey’s AHL affiliate from John MacLean, who was named bench boss of the NHL Devils earlier this summer.

Albelin, 46, joined New Jersey’s coaching staff as an assistant on July 25, 2007 following an 18-year NHL career. His totals showed 44 goals and 211 assists for 255 points in 952 regular-season games with Quebec, New Jersey, and Calgary. Albelin saw action in 539 regular-season games over 12 seasons with the Devils, and was a member of its 1995 and 2003 Stanley Cup Championship teams.

Albelin served his native Sweden as assistant coach during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Born May 21, 1964 in Stockholm, Swe., Tommy and his wife, Maria, have two children: son, Adam (20) and daughter, Amanda (14).