QMJHL forward Jan Mandat is currently coming off his most successful season of major junior hockey yet – and as a result, he’s going pro next year as a prospect within the New Jersey Devils organization.
Mandat has inked a deal with the AHL’s Albany Devils for the upcoming season, per Stephane Leroux of RDS. He’ll join the minor league club on what is likely a one year deal, hoping to get noticed by the Devils enough to earn an entry-level contract through strong play in their farm system.
Undrafted at the NHL level, Mandat – a native of Jihlava, Czech Republic – boasted a career high in goals, assists, and points this past year for the Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, racking up 20 goals and 64 points in 62 regular season games. Standing at 6 foot 1 and 201 lbs, the 20-year-old center – who just wrapped up his overage year in Quebec – showed offensive promise with his play, despite struggling to put up strong numbers in prior years; if he can continue that development arc for Albany, it could pave the way for better opportunities down the road.
The AHL Devils are coming off their most successful season since the team’s move to Albany in 2010. The farm club went 46-20-8-2 during the regular season, good for their highest points percentage to date – then followed that up with their first advancement past the first round of the postseason, as well. Although they ultimately fell to the Toronto Marlies, the Devils are looking to come back strong again next year; hopefully, adding depth like Mandat will help.