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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

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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