After being up with New Jersey for more than a month on what started as an emergency loan, Nikita Okhotyuk’s time with the Devils has come to an end for now as the team announced (Twitter link) that the defenseman has been assigned to Utica of the AHL.
The 22-year-old got into ten games with New Jersey and saw action in a particularly limited role as he averaged under 12 minutes a night. Okhotyuk picked up his second career NHL goal earlier this month and also chipped in with 31 hits and nine blocked shots. He has been a bit more productive with the Comets, picking up two goals and four assists in 17 contests at the AHL level.
With this assignment, the Devils are down to just six healthy defenders on their roster. However, John Marino has been skating for a couple of weeks and was upgraded to day-to-day last weekend so it’s possible that he’ll be ready to be activated for their next game after the All-Star break against Vancouver. Otherwise, Okhotyuk or someone else will likely be getting recalled a little more than a week from now.