#NJDEVILS NEWS: New Jersey has placed D Sami Vatanen (bruised right leg from blocking a shot) on injured reserve, retroactive to 2/1/2020.
The club has recalled Nick Merkley from Binghamton (AHL). He has been assigned #39. pic.twitter.com/RWFtxWZkom
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) February 13, 2020
Sami Vatanen on Injured Reserve
Devils defenceman Sami Vatanen continues to deal with a bruised right leg after blocking a shot against the Dallas Stars back on February 1st. The injury occurred towards the end of the third period in the game against the Stars. He clearly was in some discomfort limping to the bench. While he was on the bench, he did not finish the game or play in the overtime session. Even with the Devils defence weaker than most teams, Vatanen has been a steady force back there. He eats minutes and is the catalyst for driving the breakout of the Devils zone.
Vatanen missed the team’s morning skate prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. He had been skating with the team over the past couple of days. His status for the upcoming road trip is up in the air according to head coach Alain Nasreddine. Through 47 games this season Vatanen has 23 points (five goals and 18 assists) averaging 22 minutes of ice time.
With the trade deadline coming up quickly, it will be interesting to see how this injury affects Vatanen’s trade status with other clubs around the league.
With Vatanen going on injured reserve, the Devils recalled Nick Merkley from the Binghamton Devils of the AHL. Recall Merkley was a part of the trade that saw Taylor Hall go from the Devils to the Arizona Coyotes. Since joining the Devils organization back on December 16th, Merkley has 21 points (seven goals and 11 assists) in 21 AHL games.
As far as the defence goes, the Devils will roll with Andy Greene with P.K. Subban on the first defensive pairing. While on the second pairing Will Butcher will be paired with Damon Severson. While Mirco Mueller will be paired with Connor Carrick on the third unit. Look for Severson’s time on ice to continue to rise as he carries a seven-game point streak into Thursday’s nights game against the Red Wings.
The Devils also remain without centre Nico Hischier. His status for the upcoming road trip is good as he took part in the team’s morning skate. While he will not play against Detroit, but he could play in Carolina.