New Jersey assigned goaltender Scott Wedgewood, defensemen Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill and forwards Stefan Matteau, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo to Albany.
The returned defenseman Damon Severson to the WHL.
The current depth chart is now:
Goaltenders (3): Martin Brodeur, Keith Kinkaid, Cory Schneider.
Defensemen (8): Mark Fayne, Andy Greene, Peter Harrold, Adam Larsson, Bryce Salvador, Alexander Urbom, Anton Volchenkov, Marek Zidlicky.
Forwards (17): Krys Barch, Steve Bernier, Damien Brunner, Ryan Carter, Ryane Clowe, Patrik Elias, Stephen Gionta, Adam Henrique, Jaromir Jagr, Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson, Andrei Loktionov, Rostislav Olesz, Michael Ryder, Mattias Tedenby, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus.
There's no doubt that the biggest surprise is to see Eric Gelinas sent down to Albany. He showed a lot of upside during the preseason. His offensive game seems NHL ready, but his defensive game can still use some refining. It wouldn't be a shock to see him called up in the result of an injury, or if the team decides to make a move to ship out a defenseman prior to the start of the season.
Not to be forgotten in this mix is Alexander Urbom. He's still on the roster as of now. The Devils need to make five moves, with one of those being Keith Kinkaid, so really, it's down to four. Urbom has been solid in the preseason. He's a stay-at-home player who isn't going to be flashy. When he's doing his job, he isn't really noticed.
One of the reasons why Urbom is still up, over someone like Gelinas, is because he would have to pass through waivers in order to be sent back down to the minors. There's no doubt that after a strong preseason, his chances of surviving waivers are far from guaranteed.
In any other year, the team may have kept eight defensemen, but with the glut of forwards, there will be some very tough decisions to make. Peter Harrold has seemingly done enough to make the roster, but it wouldn't be completely out of the question to see Urbom take that spot.
At this point it's safe to say that there are ten forward spots that are locks: Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, Michael Ryder, Jaromir Jagr, Damien Brunner, Andrei Loktionov, Ryane Clowe, Steve Bernier and Dainius Zubrus.
Remaining from that list are Mattias Tedenby, Rostislav Olesz, Jacob Josefson, Ryan Carter, Krys Barch, Cam Janssen and Stephen Gionta.
- It's safe to say that both Krys Barch and Cam Janssen won't be on the club, it's one or the other. Barch has the edge right now, as he has looked much better than Janssen in the preseason.
- The fourth line center spot seems like it'll be between Jacob Josefson and Stephen Gionta. Both would have to clear waivers if sent down. Gionta has a two-way contract, which would pay him a lesser salary in the AHL than it would in the NHL. Because Josefson's salary is one-way, that might give him the nod over Gionta. Also, there's a better chance that Gionta would clear waivers. We'll have more on Stephen Gionta in a post coming tomorrow.
- So if Gionta or Josefson are penciled in for one spot, and Barch/Janssen for another, that leaves three open spots between Carter, Olesz, Tedenby, Urbom and Harrold.
- The thought of exposing both Urbom and Tedenby to waivers means that both might be claimed. There is definitely a possibility that the team is looking to make a trade, in order to alleviate the log jam.
Opening night roster prediction:
Centers (4) - Zajac, Henrique, Loktionov, Josefson
Wingers (8) - Elias, Clowe, Ryder, Brunner, Jagr, Zubrus, Bernier, Carter
Defensemen (6) - Salvador, Greene, Fayne, Larsson, Volchenkov, Zidlicky
Goaltenders (2) - Brodeur, Schneider
Healthy Scratches (3) - Olesz, Barch, Harrold
Through waivers - (4) Tedenby, Urbom, Gionta, Janssen
Sent to AHL - Kinkaid