Defenseman Eric Gelinas will replace Jon Merrill tonight when the New Jersey Devils play host to the St. Louis Blues.
Merrill, who has appeared in all 11 games for New Jersey this season scoring a goal and three assists, is nursing an unspecified injury according to Rich Chere of the Star Ledger.
Gelinas has a goal and three assists in eight games this season – he has sat out the previous two games.
Steve Bernier will make his regular season debut on the Devils fourth line tonight alongside Tuomo Ruutu and Stephen Gionta. Bernier was recalled from the Albany Devils on Monday.
In nine American Hockey League games this season, the 29-year-old has a goal and four assists.
Defenseman Mark Fraser is going back to where his career began.
The 28-year-old has signed an American Hockey League contract with the Albany Devils the club announced Sunday.
Fraser, who most recently spent the 2013-14 season split with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers, was the New Jersey Devils third-round selection (84th overall) at the 2005 NHL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 220 pound blue liner turned pro with the Lowell Devils in 2006-07 and appeared in 98 games with New Jersey between the 2006-2011 seasons.
In 185 career NHL games, Fraser has four goals, 14 assists, 247 penalty minutes a plus-5 rating.
Fraser has played in 308 career AHL games with Lowell, Albany, Syracuse and Toronto.
According to CapGeek, the New Jersey Devils have inked defenseman Dan Kelly to a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.1 million.
Kelly, 25, has spent the past four seasons with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League where he tallied 17 points in 71 games to go along with a plus-14 rating in 2013-14.
In total, Kelly has appeared in 233 games with Albany scoring nine goals and 38 points.
The undrafted blue liner will make $90, 000 at the AHL level in 2014-15 while his NHL deal is worth $550,000 for the upcoming season.
Related: Poll: What can the Devils expect from Larsson?
New Jersey Devils forward prospect Stefan Matteau got a taste of NHL life last season when he played 17 games.
After being sent back to junior hockey last season (where things got a bit tumultuous), he’s spending this season in the AHL with the Albany Devils and it’s doing him a lot of good as Randy Miller of NJ.com shares.
“At the beginning of the year, I had to have a little chat with him about playing on the perimeter and trying to play a skill game,” said Albany coach Rick Kowalsky. “When he’s on his game, he’s tough to get the puck off of down low. And when he goes to the net, he’s just a force. It’s just a matter of doing it all the time and translating that to the next level.”
Matteau playing in the AHL instead of juniors was a bit of a curious move on the Devils’ part, but so far things are working out for the nearly 20-year-old forward. He has nine goals and 19 points with Albany this season to go along with 52 penalty minutes.
Learning to play the pro game on the fly the way he has the past two seasons will have its share of ups and downs. Devils management hopes it turns Matteau into one of the top power forwards in the league.
New Jersey Devils prospect defenseman Adam Larsson has had a rough season. He’s played 20 games for New Jersey and has been playing for the minor league affiliate in Albany since Jan. 9.
So what’s wrong with the 21-year-old 2011 fourth overall pick? Randy Miller from The Star-Ledger shares the story.
“I think Adam’s his own worst enemy sometimes,” Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. “He wants to be an impact, and sometimes he wants to make an impact every shift. He doesn’t have to make a play that leads to a scoring chance. Sometimes he’s got to make the simple play, and he’s done that at times, but he has a tendency to get away from it.”
Larsson admits he’s trying hard but he wants to make it with the Devils and not somewhere else. He’s in the final year of his entry-level deal and not exactly in line for a big raise.
Defensemen are always a bit slower to develop, but after his rookie season in which he played 65 games and had a taste of success during the playoffs, expectations shot through the roof. For now, he’ll continue to work on his game in Albany while other young defensemen join the battle to stick in the NHL.