The New Jersey Devils have reacted to their loss at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings last night by making several roster changes. Pavel Zacha and Kevin Rooney have been sent to the minor leagues, replaced by Kurtis Gabriel and Brett Seney.
Zacha, 21, is the surprising name here as he hasn’t played a game in the minor leagues for the Devils since the end of the 2015-16 season. In fact he’s played 149 NHL games since then, plus five playoff contests last spring. The sixth-overall pick in 2015, Zach looked like he may be in line for a breakout season this year but has struggled mightily in the offensive end through ten games. Scoreless, he has only generated ten shots on goal during that time and obviously needed a change of some sort. Though many expected him to just sit for a few games, heading down to the AHL is likely an even better move for his career development. Zacha needs to rediscover the offensive touch he had in junior, and the AHL is the only place he’ll be able to experience that.
There’s no telling how long Zacha will be with Binghamton, but in the meantime Seney will try to make an impression on the organization. An undersized forward that fell all the way to the sixth round in 2015—his second year of draft eligibility—he nevertheless found plenty of success at the collegiate level and has 18 points through his first 22 games in the AHL since signing last spring. If he can find anywhere near that kind of production at the NHL level, the Devils will have another offensive weapon to roll out alongside the rest of their young roster.