The New Jersey Devils will get some reinforcement on the defensive end tonight as second-year ’D’-man Ty Smith will make his season debut tonight after missing the first week-and-a-half with injury, per the team. A move prefaced by the waiving and subsequent assignment of Colton White to the AHL’s Utica Comets, Smith likely makes his season debut on a pairing with Damon Severson. The Devils are now at full strength on defense for the first time this year, and the new-look group that also includes Ryan Graves and Dougie Hamilton will get a real chance to shine tonight at home against the Buffalo Sabres as the team looks to improve to a 3-1-0 record. Smith finished seventh in Calder Trophy voting last season, scoring two goals and 21 assists in 48 games.
More notes from today in the Eastern Conference:
- Per The Athletic’s Marc-Antoine Godin, Canadiens defense prospect Mattias Norlinder will resume skating this week after missing the beginning of the 2021-22 season. While he’s loaned to Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League this season, the Habs prospect had a strong camp and this year is an important one in his development. A third-round pick of the squad in 2019, Norlinder had a respectable 10 points in 37 games last year in Sweden and looks to continue his growth on a defense core that also includes the Detroit Red Wings’ Simon Edvinsson and former NHLer Christian Folin.
- Netminder Nico Daws is making his NHL debut tonight for the New Jersey Devils, the team announced this morning. With Mackenzie Blackwood still on injured reserve and Jonathan Bernier still day-to-day with a lower-body injury, a tandem of Daws and Scott Wedgewood will have to do it for now in Jersey. Wedgewood allowed four goals in a loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday, so the team will give Daws a chance tonight to show what he can do. The 20-year-old was drafted 84th overall in 2020.