The New Jersey Devils have announced the acquisition of Russian Center Andrei Loktionov from the Los Angeles Kings. In exchange for a 5th round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry draft New Jersey gets the 22-year-old, who’s split time between the AHL and NHL with the Devils’ Stanley Cup foe. He has 14 points in 59 career games with the big club.
Loktionov is expected to report to Albany, New Jersey’s AHL affiliate, with plenty of promotional opportunities. They are lacking production
and Loktionov has speed and skill and may provide a spark at some point this season.
He was a teammate of Adam Henrique’s when the two played for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League. Not sure if this gave GM Lou Lamoriello an inkling into what Loktionov can bring, but I wouldn’t put it past the old wiseman.
You’re In, Kid
According to Tom Gulitti’s “Fire and Ice” blog Winger Stefan Matteau will suit up tonight as the Devils play host to Steven Stamkos and the Lightning. This will mark his 6th game of the season, effectively kick-starting his rookie contract.
Regardless of whether he goes back to juniors or the AHL, it’s one down and two to go on that contract for the 18-year-old first round pick. I’m surprised by this move. Matteau is big and strong and has shown good instincts, but appears raw to me. I was sure he was headed back the QMJHL to mature. I’m not sure if this speaks more about Matteau’s impression on coach Pete DeBoer or the Devils need for an able bodied winger. Dainius Zubrus is a bit banged up right now. As always, Devils fans should trust Lamoriello.
New Jersey Faces a big test tonight as they welcome 60 goal scorer Steven Stamkos to the Rock tonight. He has the Lightning off to a fast start, and after so many division games already it will be nice to see how the Devils stack up against other Eastern Conference opponents. If they continue to take penalties (12 in the last two games) Tampa Bay’s power play will make them pay for it.