New Jersey Devils: COVID Protocols Come At Worst Time For Jonas Siegenthaler

New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (71): (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (71): (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils traded a 3rd-round pick that once belonged to the Arizona Coyotes to the Washington Capitals for seldom-used defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. It felt like a strange deal at the time, but it makes sense on paper for the Devils to take a shot on a defender who will likely come at a minimum contract. Sure, it’s losing a pretty decent draft pick, but Siegenhalther could be a player who will be one of the six defensemen for a while.

The Devils would basically be able to give Siegenthaler a tryout for the rest of the season. He is easily one of the better defenders on the Devils as currently constructed. With P.K. Subban and Ty Smith out of the lineup, he was set up for some really big minutes. He broke 19 minutes in his last two games played, which is the most he’s played since his first game this season back in January.

Then, Siegenthaler ended up on the COVID-19 protocol list. That put his tryout to a complete halt, and now he’s sitting and waiting. We don’t know if he’s under the protocols for a positive test, if he’s dealing with symptoms, or if he was a close contact. It all depends on what he’s dealing with to see when we will see him back in the Devils lineup. Right now, the team is holding it together with Scotch tape and bubble gum (also known as Colin White on back-to-back-to-back games).

If Siegenthaler has a confirmed case of the virus, he will likely miss a minimum of two weeks. That would take him to the first week of May, and he’ll likely have five or six games left in the season. That’s not a terrible amount of games, but the issue here is he’s not going to be 100 percent for the rest of the season. It’s going to be an incomplete look.

The Devils have to decide whether they want to protect Siegenthaler from the Kraken expansion draft (they probably will since they have three spots available), and more importantly, they will want to see where he might fit on next season’s team. This was really the worst possible timing on an extended absence for Siegenthaler.