New Jersey Devils Place Sami Vatanen on Injured Reserve

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Sami Vatanen
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 03: Sami Vatanen #45 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Rangers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils have announced that defenceman Sami Vatanen is sidelined for at least a week with a lower-body injury. He was placed on the injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 15.

Sami Vatanen Injured

Vatanen left four minutes, 38 seconds into the second period after taking a high-stick from the Philadelphia Flyers Ivan Provorov. The Finn then crashed into the boards awkwardly before skating off. He was favoring his left leg in the tunnel.

The Jyvaskyla, Finland native has scored one goal and six assists for seven points to go along with 10 penalty minutes. His possession numbers are 49.6 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 0.7.

He has played for the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils over his eight-year NHL career. Vatanen has 37 goals and 124 assists for 161 career points in 354 career games. The Anaheim Ducks drafted him in the fourth round, 106th overall of the 2009 NHL draft.

New Jersey called up veteran Eric Gryba from AHL Binghamton. Egor Yakovlev draws into the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Vatanen will be eligible to return to the lineup on Friday.

The Devils will also be without Nico Hischier for a third straight game. Hischier will miss his third straight game with a wrist injury. He could return Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

What This Means for the Future

The injuries come at a bad time as the Devils are trying to recapture the magic of last season’s surprise playoff run. New Jersey sits tied for seventh with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Vatanen has gone without a point in his last four games, but was a key contributor in last year’s playoff run. The Finn provided 25 assists in 2017-18 and helped stabilize a young defence. His best season was 2015-16 when he totaled nine goals and 29 assists for 38 points.

NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 03: Sami Vatanen #45 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Rangers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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