Player News - Devils

Date: Team: Pos:

Ilya Kovalchuk reportedly said on Russian television that he thinks this will be his final season with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA.

Kovalchuk expressed a desire to return to the NHL for the 2018-19 campaign. He explored the idea of playing in the NHL next season, but it would have been complicated because the Devils still control his rights, which would have made a sign-and-trade necessary. Next summer he'll be an unrestricted free agent in the NHL so that obstacle won't exist. Additionally, by staying in the KHL for one more season he can then play in the Olympics where Russia will be a heavy favorite to win gold given that NHL players won't be able to participate.
Jul 21 - 9:50 AM

Devils GM Ray Shero doesn't feel any need to rush the contract negotiations with Damon Severson.

Severson is a restricted free agent who didn't have arbitration rights so as long as he's signed before the start of training camp there isn't any issue. He's coming off a strong campaign where he had three goals, 31 points, and 58 penalty minutes in 80 contests. "He’s still a young defenseman that we’re excited to work with, and we want to make sure he understands that," Shero said. "So we’ll get some options with him and his agent, and there’s no rush there. We look forward to doing that and getting some of these other guys signed."
Jul 20 - 8:56 PM

The Devils plan to use Nico Hischier as a center right from the start.

The alternative would have been to have Hischier start his career as a winger to ease him into the NHL a bit more. It's not clear who his linemates will be, but it's entirely possible that Hischier will find himself on one of the Devils' top-two lines. He's going into the season as a potential contender for the Calder Trophy, so you'll naturally want to keep an eye on him during training camp.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 20 - 2:54 PM

Devils AHL coach Rick Kowalsky believes John Quenneville will end up being a winger.

"He did play (center) in Brandon two years prior, but the last year, where he had the real big year, he played the wing," Kowalsky said. "He's most comfortable on the wing and I think right now, unless something changes, he certainly would be suitable in the NHL starting on the wing. The thing with Q is he would be comfortable and I would be confident in him playing left or right wing, which would be a huge advantage." Quenneville is coming off his first pro campaign. He had a goal and four points in 12 games with New Jersey and another 14 goals and 46 points in 58 AHL contests.
Source: NJ.com
Jul 20 - 8:22 AM

New Jersey has reached out to Alexander Kerfoot, who is their prospect but can become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.

Kerfoot was selected with the 150th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He's coming off his senior year with Harvard University where he scored 16 goals and 45 points in 36 contests. "I talked to him a few days ago for a while," Devils GM Ray Shero said. "I think after the dust settled for free agency for a lot of teams, including ours, I think it was good to reconnect with him. Me, John Hynes and Fitzie had a conference call with him, and I explained to him again exactly where we were. I think it was a good reminder that we’d really like to sign him, but like anybody else, he controls the outcome until Aug. 15. I think it was a really good conversation and he’ll talk to his agent, and hopefully get back to us in the very near future. There’s not much more he can learn from us at this point, but I think it was a really good chance to reconnect with him when the dust settles after July 1 around the league and certainly with the Devils." It wouldn't be sur
Jul 19 - 9:11 AM

The New Jersey Devils are still hoping to add a top-four defenseman this summer.

The Devils made a pitch for Kevin Shattenkirk, but he ended up signing with the New York Rangers. There might still be options available on the trade front, but it won't be easy. "Everybody is looking for defensemen," Devils GM Ray Shero said. "I think defensively, as a team, I don’t think we were very good last year. I think we were much better the year before and I think that’s what we’re looking for, is getting back to where we were my first year here which was certainly team that really worked, really had pushback. We’ll look to improve on that. We’ll take steps in that area in getting back to that identity we had a couple of years ago."
Jul 16 - 6:12 AM

Nico Hischier has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey took Hischier with the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. While nothing is guaranteed, it's a fairly safe bet that Hischier will start the campaign with New Jersey. He might even see playing time alongside Taylor Hall, which would go a long way towards him having an offensively productive rookie season. He scored 38 goals and 86 points in 57 QMJHL games last season and was a standout performer during the World Juniors with seven points in five games as a member of the Swiss team.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 15 - 5:40 PM

Mackenzie Blackwood ended up getting a lot of playing time in the AHL as a rookie.

Blackwood was projected to be used sparingly behind Scott Wedgewood and Ken Appleby, but Wedgewood suffered a season-ending shoulder injury early in the campaign. As a result Blackwood posted a 2.55 GAA and .907 save percentage in 36 contests and played in an additional four postseason contests. "There were some growing pains there to start," Blackwood said. "(Appleby) had played a few games before in Adirondack. He jumped right in and had a great start. Myself, I had a couple painful games, some learning adjustments and stuff like that. But I think I found my groove after Christmas." The plus side is that is was a good developing experience for the 20-year-old. He's projected to spend another season in the AHL.
Source: NJ.com
Jul 15 - 7:11 AM

Cory Schneider feels that his struggles might have been the cause of Devils goaltending coach Chris Terreri being replaced.

"Last year was just a tough year all around in terms of my performance and how the year went," Schneider said. "It feels real tough to me if, possibly, Chris lost his job because of the year I had. I feel personally responsible for that in a sense, that I could’ve done better, I could’ve played better. That’s never a good feeling to have." Schneider had a 20-27-11 record, 2.82 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 60 games last season, so the Devils decision to change goalie coaches didn't come as a shock. Their new hire was Roland Melanson, who had previously worked with Schneider in Vancouver. That familiarity might help make the transition easier on all involved.
Jul 13 - 4:50 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk cited the Olympics as a key reason for his decision to stay in the KHL.

Kovalchuk entertained the possibility of playing in the NHL, but ultimately inked a one-year extension with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA. "One of the main factors was the upcoming Olympic Games," Kovalchuk said. "In 2018, only players who play in European championships and the KHL can compete there." The NHL made the decision not to allow its players to participate in the 2018 Winter Games. Waiting at least another year before attempting to return to North America also makes some sense for him logistically. In the summer of 2018 he'll be an unrestricted free agent in North America, but the Devils still control his NHL rights for 2017-18, so he had to explore the possibility of a sign-and-trade, which might have been difficult to pull off.
Source: SKA.ru
Jul 10 - 8:02 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk has signed a one-year contract extension with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA.

Kovalchuk's agent already said that his client would remain in the KHL for the 2017-18 campaign, so this doesn't come as a surprise. Still this officially closes the door on him playing in the NHL next season. Kovalchuk had expressed an interest in returning to North America, but it would have been a complicated process as New Jersey still controlled his NHL rights. That would have forced a sign-and-trade to be arranged if Kovalchuk wanted to play anywhere other than the Devils. He won't have to deal with that next summer though as he'll be an unrestricted free agent in the NHL.
Jul 9 - 4:12 PM

The New Jersey Devils have hired Roland Melanson as their new goaltending coach.

Former goalie coach Chris Terreri is staying within the Devils' organization, though his role hasn't been determined yet. Schneider struggled last season with a 20-27-11 record, 2.82 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 60 contests so it's not surprising to see New Jersey make a change here. Melanson previously served as the Vancouver Canucks' goaltending coach and consequently has worked with Schneider in the past.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 8 - 9:14 PM

Although Marcus Johansson was traded from the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals to the Devils, which haven't made the playoffs in five years, he's upbeat about the move to New Jersey.

"Honestly, I just see the positives," Johansson said. "We have a really interesting team. It’s something that’s moving in the right direction, too. I don’t mind being an underdog, either. We have a great team and if we put all the pieces together, we can surprise a lot of people. I’m excited to be part of something that’s being built." The Devils probably aren't going to turn a lot of heads in 2017-18, but they are a team trending in the right direction in their rebuild. It certainly helps that they won the NHL draft lottery, allowing them to add Nico Hischier.
Jul 8 - 5:45 AM

Ilya Kovalchuk's agent has confirmed that his client will remain in the KHL for the 2017-18 campaign.

That matches up with a previous report. Kovalchuk did explore the possibility of returning to the NHL, but this outcome isn't surprising. Kovalchuk's rights still belong to the Devils so he could only go elsewhere through a sign-and-trade, which complicated things. Next summer he wouldn't have that issue as he would be an unrestricted free agent. Additionally, by staying in the KHL for one more season he can participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, which the NHL has already stated that it won't be a part of.
Jul 4 - 9:20 PM

Ilya Kovalchuk has reportedly decided to stay in the KHL for the 2017-18 campaign.

Kovalchuk had considered returning to the NHL for this coming season, but it would have been somewhat complicated as the New Jersey Devils still control his NHL rights. A sign-and-trade was a possibility, but then any team that wanted Kovalchuk would have had to both pay his salary and surrender assets to the Devils in order to acquire him. Kovalchuk can become an unrestricted free agent next season so it will be easier for him to return to the NHL at that time.
Jul 4 - 3:36 PM


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