Journey to the NHL: Ken Appleby

Picture by: thehockeywriters.com

For many, the journey into the NHL is one that takes many years and many miles under their skates. North Bay, Ontario Native Ken Appleby is no exception.

Name: Ken (Kenny) Appleby

Birthplace: North Bay, Ontario

Height: 6 Feet 4 Inches

Weight: 209 Pounds

OHL Draft: Oshawa Generals 2nd Round, 35th Overall (2011)

NHL Draft: Free Agent Signing, New Jersey Devils (2015)

OHL Career:

Starting in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals in 2012-2013, he was the backup to current team veteran Daniel Altshuller. His first career OHL win came against the Kingston Frontenacs on January 19th, 2013. In the game, Appleby made 15 saves on 16 shots against for a .938 save percentage and 1 goal against, for a 6-1 victory. 24 hours later, Appleby put on another positive showing with a 4-1 win, making 25 saves for a .960 save percentage on the evening. Appleby’s next milestone came on January 22nd, 2014 when he shutout the Belleville Bulls, making all 32 saves. In 2014, Appleby finished with three shutouts. His career in the OHL finished just the way that any goalie would want it to, with both an OHL and CHL championship under his belt. Appleby was able to own his own highlight reel of saves in the 2015 Memorial Cup final game against the Kelowna Rockets, where he made 37/38 saves, including numerous 10-bell saves in the dying minutes of the game.

 

2012-2013 Statistics:

Ken Appleby hugging the Memorial Cup after defeating the WHL Kelowna Rockets 2-1 COURTESY OF saultthisweek.com

 

6-4-0-2 (18 appearances) 2.70 GAA, 0.886 sv%, 34 GA

2013-2014 Statistics:

11-7-0-3 (24 appearances) 2.48 GAA, 0.920 sv%, 51 GA, 3 SO

2014-2015 Statistics:

Regular Season: 38-7-0-4 (50 appearances) 2.04 GAA, 0.924 sv%, 102 GA, 6 SO

Playoffs: 16-4-1-0 (21 appearances) 2.24 GAA, 0.922 sv%, 47 GA, 2 S0

Memorial Cup: 4-0 (4 appearances) 2.08 GAA, 0.915 sv%, 9 GA

ECHL Career:

Ken Appleby made his pro-hockey debut with the Adirondack Thunder on October 16th, 2015, with a win over the Elmira Jackals. Less than a month after his first career pro victory, Appleby was able to reach another milestone with his first professional shutout. On November 7th, 2015, Appleby made 31 saves for a 1-0 victory. He would finish his first year in the ECHL with three shutouts, accomplishing the feat again on December 3rd in Brampton (29 saves) and on January 16th against Reading (36 saves). Ken played one full season in the ECHL, before being

Appleby making his return to Glen Falls after being returned to the ECHL Thunder. COURTESY OF echlthunder,com

called up to the Albany Devils during the beginning of his 2nd season in Adirondack. While his time with Adirondack was limited, he was quickly loved by the Thunder fans, as he was in Oshawa. As of March 27th, Ken was returned to the Adirondack Thunder after a short stint with the BinghamtonDevils.

 

2015-2016 Statistics:

Regular Season: 17-9-1-1 (29 appearances) 2.24 GAA, 0.924 sv%, 64 GA, 3 SO

Playoffs: 7-4-01 (13 appearances) 2.31 GAA, 0.920 sv%, 29 GA, 1 SO

2016-2017 Statistics:

4-1-0-1 (6 appearances) 1.98 GAA, 0.915 sv%, 12 GA, 1 SO

 

AHL Career:

Appleby played parts of 3 seasons with the Albany/Binghamton Devils. Ken made his AHL debut on January 30th, 2016 following a call-up after stellar numbers with the ECHL Thunder. His first win would come 2 weeks later against the Rochester Americans on February 13th. Amazingly, his first AHL win was also his first AHL shutout, stopping all 26 shots he faced.

Appleby makes a sweeping stick save on a Lehigh-Valley Phantom forward COURTESY OF theahl.com

2015-2016 Statistics:

3-3-2 (8 appearances) 2.59 GAA, 0.904 sv%, 21 GA, 1 SO

2016-2017 Statistics:

Regular Season: 17-14-1-0 (32 appearances) 2.63 GAA, 0.903 sv%, 84 GA

Playoffs: 0-0-0-0 (33 minutes played) 3.61 GAA, 0.800 sv%, 2 GA

2017-2018 Statistics:

9-12-0-1 (24 appearances) 2.78 GAA, 0.898 sv%, 64 GA, 2 SO

NHL Career:

The beneficiary of numerous injuries to the goaltending tandem of Corey Schneider and Keith Kinkaid, Appleby was called up to the New Jersey Devils to make his NHL debut on January 20th, 2018 in relief. Playing against the Philidelphia Flyers, he stopped all 24 shots he faced in just over 46 minutes of ice time. His only NHL start came on January 25th against the defending Western Conference champion Nashville Predators. Appleby stopped 24/27 shots and wound up with the loss. With the Devils on the march to the postseason, at the deadline improved their injured goaltending situation by adding Eddie Lack. This resulted in Ken being sent back down to the AHL Devils.

2017-2018 Statistics:

0-1-0-0 (3 appearances), 1.45 GAA, 0.945 sv%, 3 GAA, 125 minutes played

While putting a lot of mileage on his young 22-year old body, Appleby is living the life of a professional hockey goaltender. Seeing him play personally, and seeing his play translate at every level, it is only a matter of time before Ken Appleby becomes an everyday NHL goaltender.

Ken Appleby leading his New Jersey Devils onto the ice before his first NHL start COURTESY OF thehockeywriters.com

 

 

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Brandon Wright

A little bit about myself, my name is Brandon Wright and I am from Oshawa, Ontario. My roots in hockey are as deep as they can be for a 19-year-old. Since birth, I have been attending Oshawa Generals games, of the OHL as a season ticket holder, up until I moved away for University. Once I moved away I knew I needed to stay in touch with the game and the city, which is why I started writing. My experience in hockey coverage includes my own personal blog, OHL features, Oshawa Generals games recaps, and now my University’s team the Lakehead Thunderwolves! The Ontario Hockey League is near and dear to my heart and my writing as it marks the start of where, so many NHL superstars earned their household name legacies from the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, to today’s stars in John Tavares and Connor McDavid just to name a few. Hometown: Oshawa, Ontario Favourite OHL Team: Oshawa Generals Favourite AHL Team: Toronto Marlies Favourite ECHL Team: Adirondack Thunder Favourite NHL Team: New York Islanders