New Jersey Devils Assign Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill to Albany
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
The New Jersey Devils made more adjustments to their training camp roster this afternoon trimming down the bench to 28 players.
Eight players the Devils have been carrying throughout their preseason have been assigned to Albany. Those players were: Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill, Stefan Matteau, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo. Damon Severson was returned to Kelowna (WHL).
In his first preseason with New Jersey, defenseman Jon Merrill tallied two points in three games. Merrill, who spent three years at the University of Michigan signed an entry-level contract with the Devils in April.
Joining Merrill in Albany is another talented defenseman, Eric Gelinas. Gelinas left New Jersey tied for most preseason points with Patrik Elias and Jacob Josefson with three (1-2-3). The 22 year old defenseman put up six goals and 16 assists with the Albany Devils last season and appeared in one game for New Jersey.
Both Merrill and Gelinas made big impressions as to why they belong in New Jersey this season but find themselves on the wrong end of a deep defensive pool the Devils have.
Alexander Urbom remains with New Jersey for now. Urbom has spent the last three seasons with the Albany Devils and has two goals in 14 games in the NHL. In order to return to Albany, Urbom would have to clear waivers which is an interesting scenario to consider. A trade to move a veteran defenseman could clear space to keep the younger blue liner in the lineup.
Mike Sislo scored his lone goal of the preseason in the 2-1 defeat over Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Though Sislo has yet to step into an NHL regular season game, his effort playing this preseason makes him attractive for the coaches when the Devils need to call up a forward from their AHL affiliate.
The cuts today leaves the Devils with three goaltenders, eight defenseman and seventeen forwards remaining in New Jersey. Rosters must be reduced to 23 by Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.
With five players facing demotion, it will be up to the bubble players like Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson and Stephen Gionta to plead their cases in Thursday’s final preseason game.