Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today set their development coaching staffs, by promoting Rick Kowalsky to head coach of the American Hockey League’s Albany Devils, and naming Kevin Dean the head coach of the ECHL’s Trenton Devils. Additionally, Vince Williams will remain an assistant with Trenton. The announcement was made by Albany/Trenton Devils General Manager Chris Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
Kowalsky, 38, joins Albany after four seasons as head coach of the ECHL’s Trenton franchise (138-122-38=304pts, .528), where he was the recipient of 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 Norfolk (AHL). 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 with Hampton Roads, Trenton, and Roanoke. Kowalsky served the Express as player/assistant coach while compiling career-high 83 points in 2001-02. He made his pro debut with Cornwall (AHL) in 1993-94. Kowalsky was Buffalo’s tenth choice, and 227th overall selection in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. 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.
Dean, 41, is entering his fifth season as a member of the organization’s coaching staff after serving Lowell (AHL) as an assistant coach the past four years. His professional playing career spanned 12 seasons beginning in 1990-91, including eight with the Devils’ organization. Dean appeared in 331 career NHL games with New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. The defenseman began his pro career by appearing in seven games with Utica (AHL) in 1990-91 following four seasons of collegiate hockey at the University of New Hampshire (HE). In 1995, Dean was the only player in the organization to be a part of New Jersey’s Stanley Cup Championship, as well as Albany’s Calder Cup Championship. That season, he became the first former ECHL player to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, he served the River Rats as captain, was named to the league’s First All-Star Team, and was selected to play in the mid-season All-Star Game. Dean also saw action in 30 games with Cincinnati (ECHL) in 1991-92, and 13 games with Cincinnati (IHL) in 1992-93. He retired as an active player following the 2001-02 season after playing in 76 games with Milwaukee (AHL). Born April 1, 1969 in Madison, WI, Dean represented the United States during the 1988 World Junior Championships, as well as the 1998 World Championships. He was New Jersey’s fourth choice and 86th overall selection in the 1987 Entry Draft. Kevin and his wife, Jill, have four children: daughters Lilly (11) and Polly (5), and sons K.C. (9) and Charlie (7).