It was a bit of a busy Thursday afternoon for the Devils who made a number of announcements and roster moves.
Dea Claimed By Pittsburgh
Jean-Sebastien Dea was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Devils put him on waivers yesterday. Previously, the Devils had claimed him on waivers from the Penguins before the start of the season. After the claim, the Penguins sent Dea down to their AHL club in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Penguins were able to send Dea straight down after the claim since they had already previously put him on waivers earlier. Dea ends his stint with the Devils with 3 goals, 2 assists, and 27 shots in 20 games played.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Dea has been assigned to the @WBSPenguins.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2018
More info: https://t.co/O46jMztUEv pic.twitter.com/Ms9UQDlSFQ
Those who remember the end of the Alexander Urbom era in New Jersey will recall a similar situation between the Devils and Capitals where Urbom was claimed by Washington, played about a quarter of a season and was waived again, grabbed back by the Devils and sent directly to Albany.
McLeod Gets the Call-Up
After the news about Dea being claimed hit, the Devils announced shortly after that Michael McLeod has been called up to New Jersey. Assuming McLeod starts Friday, that will be the 2016 first-rounder’s NHL debut.
#NJDevils news:— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) November 29, 2018
JS Dea has been claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh.
New Jersey has recalled F Michael McLeod from Binghamton (AHL). He joins the team for the trip to Washington DC. pic.twitter.com/Qh3PJQKYhL
McLeod’s opening season in the AHL has been a bit underwhelming thus far, with McLeod still working on finding a solid footing in the pros. McLeod has put up 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 21 games in Binghamton thus far. Most concerning of McLeod’s numbers are his shots, which he’s only amassed 25 of over his 21 games (1.2 per game). For reference, JS Dea had a shot rate of 1.35 in the NHL before being waived.
Perhaps most interesting/confusing about the call-up is the decision to not give John Quenneville another shot with the big club after he has performed very well down in the AHL since being demoted. Quenneville has 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games in Binghamton to go along with 41 shots over that stretch. Quenneville has preformed like the best player on the Binghamton roster since being sent down, so it seemed like he might be next man up.
The Devils are likely hoping that the speed and grit of McLeod can offer a spark for the big club, which has seemingly lacked it at times. He will likely slot in on the fourth line to start. John Hynes said hopefully McLeod “comes in and takes someone’s job.”
"Hopefully he comes in and takes someone's job."— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) November 29, 2018
Hear from head coach John Hynes after practice today in Newark on recalling @mikeymcleod9 from Binghamton. Our next game is tomorrow in Washington DC. pic.twitter.com/z7X7NkxgXj
Broken Ankle for Anderson
The Devils also announced today that Joey Anderson had to undergo surgery for a broken left ankle that he sustained last week against Montreal.
Joey Anderson has a broken right ankle and underwent surgery on Tuesday. No exact timetable yet, but safe to say he’s week-to-week.— Chris Ryan (@ChrisRyan_NJ) November 29, 2018
It’s a tough break for Anderson, who has appeared in 11 games so far this season with a goal, assist, and 17 shots on goal. He’ll go on IR and likely have to miss at least a few weeks. Meanwhile, the Devils will see if McLeod can step in and provide more of a spark in that bottom-six energy role that Dea and Anderson have occupied to this point.
Other stray news was that Taylor Hall returned to practice after a maintenance day, skating on the top line with Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt. Marcus Johansson was also fully active in practice and will likely play tomorrow at Washington. The Devils have a road-home back-to-back against Washington and the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow and Saturday.