The New Jersey Devils have been struggling defensively this season. That is no secret. While sitting at 24-18-3 and giving up an average of 3.51 goals per game, the Devils are battling some serious injuries on the defensive end. Dougie Hamilton, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Brendan Smith are all on the injured reserve list, and to make things worse for the defense, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, the Devils lost defenseman Cal Foote due to personal reasons. There are reports it may be tied to the Hockey Canada investigation. If you could not tell already, the Devils defense is not in a good spot.
With New Jersey facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and Foote taking a leave of absence, the Devils had no choice but to recall defenseman Daniil Misyul from its AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, ahead of the game.
Before calling up Misyul, the Devils alreadt dipped into Utica for some defenseman this season. As injuries unfolded the Devils have collected Simon Nemec, Foote, and Santeri Hataaka over the past few weeks, leaving Misyul as the next defeseman to get called up.
Misyul is 23 years old and was drafted in the third round (No. 70 overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Devils. The 6-foot, 3-inch Belarusian is in the middle of his first season with the Comets, as he played in the KHL two years prior to this season. Before getting called up to the show, Misyul had three goals, eight assists, and 11 points through 30 games in the AHL this season.
Misyul will be sharing one thing in common with the Devils defense and that is lack of experience. This is Misyul’s first NHL call-up, so he is clearly the least experienced. However, five of the seven Devils defensemen who were out for morning skate ahead of Thursday’s game are 23 years old and younger. The only two players over 23 are Colin Miller (31) and John Marino (26).
When Misyul draws into the lineup, it should be a rough adjustment but a good experience for the rookie. Misyul will look to put on a strong showing in hopes of staying up with the main club over time.