Kulikov is an experienced, physical left-shot defenseman who skates well. His ability to play both the right and left side brings value to our defense corps.
In a year that saw the Winnipeg Jets use teenaged rookies because they lost so many defensemen at one time, Kulikov ended up averaging more than twenty minutes a night over 51 games. He recorded just ten points during that time, but won’t be asked to score much in New Jersey.
Instead, he’ll be used as a physical depth option that can fill in should the team run into injury trouble. The Devils already had five NHL defensemen after acquiring Ryan Murray and have top prospects Ty Smith, Kevin Bahl and Reilly Walsh all pushing for playing time.
It’s unlikely that Kulikov stands in anyone’s way, but does give the team another veteran option to deploy in case they aren’t ready for NHL action.