The Devils announced that defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler was placed on injured reserve today, likely retroactive to his last appearance on January 6, with a foot fracture. Forward Shane Bowers and defensemen Cal Foote were recalled from AHL Utica in corresponding moves.
Head coach Lindy Ruff said last weekend that Siegenthaler, 26, would likely miss significant time. As such, he’s expected to remain on IR longer than the minimum seven-day stay. The team’s secondary shutdown defender behind John Marino has six goals, 37 assists, 43 points, and a +15 rating in 196 contests with the Devils since coming over to New Jersey from the Capitals in an April 2021 trade.
Now in the first season of a five-year, $17MM extension signed shortly after he became eligible for one in July 2022, Siegenthaler has spent this season riding shotgun with Dougie Hamilton or Simon Nemec on the Devils’ top pairing. Hamilton has been out since late November with a left pectoral muscle tear and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Nemec has effectively shouldered heavy minutes in his first NHL stint since being selected second overall in the 2022 draft.
Before his injury, Siegenthaler had one goal, seven assists and a -1 rating while averaging 19:54 of ice time through 38 games.
Bowers and Foote come up to alleviate the pains of a Devils roster currently without Hamilton and Siegenthaler on defense and Jack Hughes, Timo Meier, Tomáš Nosek, and Ondřej Palát at forward all due to injuries. The two recalls get the Devils to the minimum 18 skaters on the active roster, meaning they’ll both draw in for their season debuts against the Lightning on Thursday.
New Jersey acquired the signing rights for the 24-year-old Bowers, who was originally the Senators’ 28th overall pick in the 2017 draft, from the Bruins in exchange for the rights to minor-league defenseman Reilly Walsh in a June 2023 trade, the third time Bowers has been traded in his young professional career. The Devils promptly inked Bowers to a one-year, two-way deal, which carries a $775K cap hit and sees him earn $125K in the minors this year, where he has six goals and just one assist in 29 games with Utica. The Nova Scotian has one NHL game to his name, taking three shifts as a member of the Avalanche against the Predators in November 2022 before exiting with injury.
Foote was also a first-round pick, selected 14 spots ahead of Bowers by the Lightning in 2017. Dealt to the Predators last season in the Tanner Jeannot trade, he became a UFA last July after not receiving a qualifying offer. The Devils snapped him up in August, joining him in the organization with his brother, Nolan Foote, on a one-year, two-way deal with an $800K cap hit. The 25-year-old didn’t make the team out of camp, but this is not his first recall of the season. He was rostered for eight games in late October and early November, although he was a healthy scratch for all of them. He’s logged nine points and a -14 rating in 24 games with Utica.
Given their pedestrian minor-league performance, Bowers and Foote will likely see limited usage during their time on the NHL roster. Foote’s recall gives the Devils four right-shot defensemen, meaning one of Foote, Marino, Nemec, or Colin Miller will need to shift to their off-side for Thursday’s game and beyond.