Welcome back: Devils claim Urbom off waivers from Caps

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The New Jersey Devils brought a familiar face back into the fold on Tuesday, claiming defenseman Alex Urbom off waivers from Washington.

Urbom, 23, was originally a third round pick of the Devils (73rd overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and debuted for New Jersey during the 2010-11 season.

The Caps acquired Urbom in early October after New Jersey placed him on waivers — with great unease, per GM Lou Lamoriello — and the Swedish rearguard went on to appear in 20 games for Washington, scoring one goal and two points. But with John Erskine returning to full health and Dmitry Orlov playing his way into the defensive rotation, Urbom became the odd man out.

“That’s the nature of the game and it’s very difficult,” head coach Adam Oates told the Washington Post. “It creates difficult decisions and [Urbom] was the odd man out all of a sudden and we had to make decisions accordingly.”

While New Jersey is pleased to get Urbom back, it won’t be utilizing him right away. Because the Devils were the only team to put a claim for Urbom, they are allowed to send him directly to AHL Albany — which they will, according to Lamoriello.