After a promising start to the season the New Jersey Devils have dropped back to back games against the Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers, and will now welcome the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville Predators to town on Thursday night. With that in mind, the team has recalled former KHL defenseman Egor Yakovlev from the minor leagues. It didn’t take long for Yakovlev to make an impact with the organization, recording seven assists in his first seven AHL contests including two in his very first game.
Signed last May to a one-year, entry-level contract, Yakovlev is making his North American debut after playing for the last six seasons in the KHL. The mobile defenseman loves to skate the puck out of trouble and found success for years in the KHL and internationally until seeing his ice time drop dramatically in 2017-18 with SKA St. Petersburg. That’s a common occurrence for a player who has indicated he’s on his way to North America, though there’s no confirmation he was sat for that reason.
If he does get into the lineup, the 27-year old will fit in with a defense corps that moves the puck extremely quickly and tries to create tempo all over the ice. The team did have seven other defensemen, but has placed Steven Santini on injured reserve after suffering a broken jaw this weekend when a puck struck him in the face. The club has also recalled forward Kevin Rooney, who had been sent down in a paper transaction yesterday.