The Devils will have their captain back in the lineup tonight against Detroit as the team announced (Twitter link) that they’ve activated center Nico Hischier off injured reserve. To make room for him on the roster, New Jersey has assigned winger Andreas Johnsson to Utica of the AHL.
Hischier suffered a hamstring injury in his only preseason appearance close to three weeks ago in Montreal. The original hope was that he’d only miss ten days and that he’d have been ready to start the season but he missed their season-opening loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. The 23-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him put up 21 goals and 39 assists in 70 games while logging over 19 minutes a night and will be a welcome addition to their center group.
Hischier’s absence was basically only delaying the inevitable for Johnsson who cleared waivers at the end of training camp. The 27-year-old is coming off a decent campaign that saw him put up 13 goals and 22 helpers in 71 games; his 35 points were the second-most of his career. However, with a $3.4MM price tag, he’s someone that most teams simply couldn’t afford to claim off the wire. He’ll head to the minors in the hopes of playing his way into a recall if someone else gets injured but it’s certainly not the start to his contract year that he was hoping for. New Jersey will save $1.125MM on the cap with his demotion with the remaining $2.275MM remaining on their books.