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San Jose, CA – Veteran blueliner Dan Kelly is set to make his San Jose Barracuda debut this Saturday against the Texas Stars at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX. The game will mark Kelly’s first after serving a 10-game suspension for what was deemed as an illegal hit to the head to Toronto Marlies forward Andreas Johnson during last year's AHL Eastern Conference Divisional Finals. Kelly missed the remainder of the postseason and first seven games of this year.
Kelly signed a one-year contract on July 11 with the San Jose Sharks to add a veteran presence to a very young Barracuda locker room.
The 27-year-old enters his seventh pro season, all in the AHL, and his first not within the New Jersey Devil’s system. Kelly will be relied on heavily for his experience and leadership. In just his first year within the organization, he was awarded an ‘A’ on his chest as one of two assistant captains on the Barracuda roster.
“It’s a huge honor (to wear the ‘A’) being in a new organization,” said Kelly. “They (Sharks organization) bring you in in a leadership role, and you’ve got to come in and show these young guys the right way to play. Not cheating on pucks and running the system the right way.”
Kelly played under Sharks Head Coach Pete DeBoer (2006-08) and Sharks Assistant Coach Steve Spott (2006-10) during his junior career with the Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Kelly won a J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL Champion with DeBoer in 2008 and was the teams Captain for Steve Spott in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The defenseman has collected 64 points (14 goals, 50 assists) and a plus-44 rating in 352 career AHL games with Albany. In addition, Kelly posted 82 points (11 goals, 71 assists) in 235 career OHL games with Kitchener.
Kelly, a 6-1, 185-pound native of Morrisonville, New York, was originally signed as a free agent by New Jersey on May 19, 2010.
It is expected that Kelly will be teamed up Patrick McNally who has played with a different defensive partner in every game this year. Both McNally and Kelly are left-handed shots, but Kelly will play on the right side.
The San Jose Barracuda hit the road for five games starting Friday, November 11 at Texas and won’t return to SAP Center until Friday, November 25 against Bakersfield. For Barracuda tickets visit SJBarracuda.com/tickets or call 408.999.5757.