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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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 69 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 62 25 13 3 38
P. Elias 63 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 52 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 61 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 68 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 58 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 76 3 18 3 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 56 6 11 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47