The New Jersey Devils need to make another roster spot this week in order to add players coming off IR. It’s obvious Dalton Prout is the odd man out.
The New Jersey Devils are about to get some positive injury news for the first time in a while. After spending two games without Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri and Marcus Johansson, it seems all three are extremely close to returning. Since two of those players are coming off injured reserve, and the Devils only have one extra roster spot, the team has to send someone down to Albany.
It’s almost a certainty that player will be defenseman Dalton Prout.
After the addition of Sami Vatanen November 30th, there is literally little to no chance Prout ever makes the lineup, barring injury. Ben Lovejoy is the other defenseman who’s been a healthy scratch for most games this season, and he hasn’t been the dumpster fire he was last year. Prout, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have much value to the roster as currently constructed. He’s basically there to fight Tom Wilson.
Prout hasn’t seen game action since November 3rd. To my knowledge, he hasn’t been dealing with any injuries. That means the Devils just don’t think he’s a viable option to help.
Prout will need to clear waivers just to make it to Binghamton, but I’m not sure if any Devils fan will be upset if another team claims him. It’s unfortunate, but since he came to the Devils at the trade deadline last season he hasn’t made an impact. If he’s able to slide into the AHL, that’s cool too.
There is no other move for the Devils to make this week. Some may suggest the team could send someone down who isn’t waiver eligible, but who? Pavel Zacha could go straight to the AHL, but please don’t do that. There is nobody else you would want to lose from the lineup. Jimmy Hayes and Drew Stafford may be healthy scratches, but you don’t want to lose them completely by putting them on waivers. Prout is the clear move to make.