Mark Dennehy will get to know a lot of new players as prospects as the Devils’ new AHL coach in Binghamton. Lucky for him, there’s already one player he knows very well.
Dennehy watched forward Brett Seney develop firsthand as his head coach at Merrimack College for the past four years, and now both have been reunited within the Devils’ organization
Seney signed with the Devils at the end of his senior season, while Dennehy was hired as the Binghamton Devils coach after being let go at Merrimack.
Devils owner Josh Harris said extending the contract of forward and NHL MVP Taylor Hall will be a high priority during the 2019 offseason.
After seeing Seney progress from his recruitment through his collegiate career, Dennehy believes the Devils have a player who fits exactly what the team wants.
“What I’m proudest of with Brett is, No. 1, he’s an unbelievable competitor,” Dennehy said. “Tom (Fitzgerald) mentioned what New Jersey’s looking for. I’m looking for the same thing. He plays his tail off, he wants to play fast. He’s incredibly dynamic, and he really worked on getting stronger.
When Seney was committed to Merrimack, Dennehy thought the forward was going to take an extra year before making his debut as a freshman. But Seney ended up joining the team as a younger player, playing his freshman campaign the season before he was drafted in the sixth round by the Devils.
Seney led Merrimack in scoring for all four seasons before making the quick decision to sign with the Devils when his senior year ended.
That allowed him to play in 12 AHL games at the end of the season, and Dennehy made a few trips to watch him play, well before he had any inkling that he’d be coaching in Binghamton next season.
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Dennehy quickly saw that AHL coaches Rick Kowalsky and Sergei Brylin were having an impact on Seney, and Dennehy expects Seney to keep absorbing knowledge at the pro level.
“He was already doing two or three things a couple games into his pro career that I tried to get him to do for four years,” Dennehy said. “A lot of it has to do with, he knows now that this is his chance, and he’s one of these kids that’s willing to do whatever it takes.”