NOJHL alumnus Appleby makes 1st NHL start

SUDBURY, Ont. – Another Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League alumnus made his National Hockey League debut this week and also made his first NHL start last night.

Former Kirkland Lake Blue Devils netminder Ken Appleby got the nod Thursday evening for the New Jersey Devils where he started against the defending NHL Western Conference champion Nashville Predators.

However Appleby’s New Jersey teammates could not muster any offense for him in what turned out to be a 3-0 setback at the hands of the Predators in a game where he stopped 24 of the 27 attempts he faced.

He also made his NHL debut in a 46-minute relief stint on Jan. 20 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers where he handled all 24 shots fired his way.

In his first three NHL appearances this week, the 22-year-old netminder boasts a 1.45 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage.

Appleby spent the 2011-12 NOJHL campaign with the then Kirkland Lake Blue Devils before going on to help lead the Oshawa Generals to both a OHL title and a Memorial Cup crown.

He then went on to sign an entry level contract with the Devils back in 2015.

Meanwhile another former NOJHLer, in Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Colin Miller, is having a solid season with the upstart first-year NHL franchise.

The ex-Soo Thunderbirds blueliner leads all Vegas D-men in offensive production with 26 points through 48 games with seven goals and 19 assists.

Miller, 25, spent the 2009-10 campaign with his hometown Thunderbirds where he tallied seven times and helped set-up 23 others for 30 points.

Photo credit: Andy Marlin/NHLI/Getty Images