New Arrival: Ari Ahonen

When aI started out on this quest, my intention was to only collect guys who actually played for the Devils. However, I found the list of guys who dressed but never played to be pretty short, so I added this guys to the project.

One of those guys is Ari Ahonen. He was drafted in the first round, 27th overall, in 1999. He played five years for the Albany River Rats of the AHL.

He was recalled by the Devils on at least three occasions due to injuries to Martin Brodeur and Scott Clemmensen, but only served as a backup. he later returned to his native Finland and played in SM-Liiga.

Ari Ahonen during one of his several call-ups to the NHL.

The quest to find an Ahonen signed puck was a little confusing to me. He played 5 seasons in the AHL, surely there must be a bunch of his signed pucks floating around, right? Wrong.

A friend even told me he is responsive to messages on Facebook, so I tried to get in touch with him that way. I even bought a nice River Rats puck with the hope of getting him to sign it. Who knows, maybe he also knows Finnish Hall of Famer Hannu Kamppuri, who I have also been searching for far and wide. But no response.

So, I was left to searching eBay and the usual places. This puck happened to surface. I have been avoiding pucks signed by multiple players, but given that I couldn’t otherwise find one, I decided to grab it and if I find a single signed puck later, I’ll swap it out. The other signatures are Devils legend John MacLean and 2003 Stanley Cup clinching goal scorer Mike Rupp.

That’s one more off the list.

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