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Santini Returns to NHL, Speers Sent to OHL

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Steven Santini is back with the Devils after a single game in the AHL. Blake Speers will not return to the NHL this season - at least not before the OHL season is over.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Devils sent F Blake Speers back to his OHL junior team, Sault Ste. Marie. Meanwhile, the team has recalled D Steven Santini from his very brief stint with Albany.

On Speers’ Return to the OHL

Per his contract, Speers will be unable to return to New Jersey until the OHL season is complete. By limiting his NHL games this year, the Devils avoid having this season count as the first year of his three year, entry-level contract.

Head coach John Hynes also iterated earlier that this is in his best interest for developing as a young player:

Welcome back, Santini... but for how long?

On the other hand, Santini has yet to see any NHL time. The team returned him to AHL last week to get him some ice time - his single game with the Albany Devils resulted in a 2-0 victory. He’s back with NJ, but depending on how the roster plays out, he may see another AHL game in his near future.

Your Take

Well, you won’t see Speers in a pro Devils uniform again this season - at least not while the OHL season is active. He put up 3 SOG in his 3 NHL games. What are your thoughts on seeing his first few games? Are you happy with the team’s decision to let him develop more in juniors (and avoid using up the first year of his entry-level contract?

Meanwhile, Santini’s back in NJ but has yet to crack the roster. Gerard has his thoughts on the matter, what are yours?