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Gelinas aims for NHL debut

Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 4:34 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Gelinas aims for NHL debut



 
A challenging season for Eric Gelinas has proven to be a valuable learning experience. The young defenseman is hoping it pays off with his NHL debut.

Gelinas, 21, was one of three players recalled from Albany (AHL) on Tuesday, along with forwards Harri Pesonen and Mike Sislo.

The Devils' second-round selection in 2009, he missed nearly the first two months of the season after taking a puck in the mouth during Albany's final preseason game at Binghamton on Oct. 6.

What he thought would be just a couple of lost teeth turned out to be a broken lower jaw. But he's taken it all in stride.

"To me this year, with the injury, those were steps that I had to get over," Gelinas said after Wednesday's practice. "I think that was good to get early in my career so I know what to expect for situations like this. I think I'm more mature as a player and more responsible as a player."

Gelinas made his season debut on Nov. 25 and put up six goals and 16 assists for 22 points in 57 games. That's down from the 37 points (16g-21a) he posted in 75 games a year ago.

"My stats weren't the same as last year, but I don't look at the points," he said. "I want to develop as a player for a long-term career and I think I'm pretty satisfied with the way it went."

With two games remaining in the Devils' season, Gelinas would cherish the opportunity to suit up for New Jersey. The Devils close out the home schedule against Pittsburgh on Thursday and visit the Rangers in Saturday's regular-season finale.

Johan Hedberg will start versus the Penguins.

"It would be a dream come true," Gelinas said. "I think everyone wants to accomplish that and hopefully get a game late in the season, and get the experience of what it feels like to be an NHL player."

Gelinas still can't bite into some foods – apples are off limits – but with everything he's had to overcome this year, his first NHL game would be something to smile about.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 53 15 24 7 39
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 53 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 51 17 16 14 33
T. Zajac 45 7 18 6 25
D. Schlemko 45 6 9 -9 15
A. Larsson 53 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 53 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 42 3 7 -13 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 15 6 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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