As had been speculated of late, New Jersey Devils goaltender Gilles Senn has decided to take his talents back home to Switzerland. Reportedly upset with his role in the organization this season, playing exclusively with AHL Binghamton, the 25-year-old restricted free agent was rumored to be available to Swiss NLA clubs and a return to long-time club HC Davos was the expected landing spot. Davos has now confirmed those expectations, announcing a new three-year deal with Senn.
While the Devils are not particularly deep in net behind Mackenzie Blackwood, especially with Scott Wedgewood and Aaron Dell heading for the open market, the loss of Senn should not make much of an impact. Although the Swiss standout was an exciting signing for the club in 2019 and even played in two NHL games in his first North American season, Senn has done little to impress with his AHL play over the past two years. He recorded an .899 save percentage and 3.06 GAA in 44 games with Binghamton and won just three of his 17 appearances in a poor 2020-21 campaign. Senn was very unlikely to be in the running for the backup job next season as a result. In fact, there is a chance that New Jersey may not have even extended a qualifying offer his way this summer. Senn’s departure now allows for promising prospects Akira Schmid and Nico Daws to potentially battle for AHL appearances right away as they are expected to turn pro for this coming season.
As for Senn, his new contract may keep him with Davos through the 2023-24 season, but it doesn’t completely rule out an NHL return down the road. At 28 years old when his deal expires and already possessing some North American experience, Senn could remain an intriguing option. However, teams have now seen him play in the AHL and NHL and some of the mystery is gone. Senn will have to play very well in Switzerland over the next few years if he wants a realistic chance at seeing NHL action again in his career.