The New Jersey Devils caught some people off guard yesterday when they decided to reassign rookie defenseman Eric Gelinas to the minors. He has excelled offensively with six goals and 22 points in 44 contests, but Devils coach Pete DeBoer felt he wasn’t playing a well-rounded game.
“You can’t just be a big shot,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “One, I think he’s capable of being much more than that. And two, if you’re going to have a long career you have to be multi-dimensional and I think the other dimensions of his game are the areas he needs to work at.”
It’s not like the Devils have many offensive threats to begin with, but DeBoer felt Gelinas’ defensive struggles negated any potential gains Gelinas was providing. The 22-year-old blueliner had a minus-five rating.
Gelinas is highly regarded and helped the Devils shake off their rough 1-5-3 start. However, his playing time plummeted in January, to the point where he was only logging 13:44 minutes per contest.