On Wednesday the New Jersey Devils acquired their former draft pick Steve Sullivan from the Phoenix Coyotes.
The 38-year-old forward only ended up playing in 49 contests with the New Jersey Devils before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997. However, before Sullivan was forced to change organizations, he had already spent parts of three seasons with the Devils’ AHL-affiliates, the Albany River Rats.
In 1995-96, Sullivan spent the better part of the season skating with an AHL rookie and fellow 1994 Devils draft pick: Patrik Elias.
“That’s where it started. Those were great times we had,” Elias, 36, told the Star-Ledger. “It was a lot of fun, although not the first few weeks and months for me coming from a totally different environment and not speaking the language.
“The boys made it easier and I had a tremendous time my first year there playing with Sully and Scotty Pellerin. It was enjoyable. Having Robbie Ftorek as a coach, he made it fun for us. A lot of good memories.”
Now Sullivan will be playing in his first Devils game in roughly 16 years when the Devils face, appropriately enough, the Maple Leafs tonight. And when he faces the team that first separated him from the Devils, he’ll be back to playing on a line with Elias.
“It’s been a long time but it’s exciting to be able to play with a player of his skill,” Sullivan said of Elias. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to play with him again.”