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Why Was Devils Goaltender Nico Daws Recalled, Again?

Why is Nico Daws back with the Devils if they have Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid still on the roster?

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New Jersey Devils

Newark — The New Jersey Devils returned to the ice this morning ahead of their third tilt of the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The first player on the ice for New Jersey was goaltender Nico Daws.

Just prior to this morning’s practice, the Devils announced they recalled Daws from the AHL Utica Comets. To fill the void left in Utica, the Comets recalled Jeremey Brodeur from the Adirondack Thunder.

Daws wasn’t the only Devils goaltender on the ice this morning, however. In the starter crease on Wednesday morning was Vitek Vanecek. It looks like he’ll face the Blue Jackets tonight. On the other end of the ice was Schmid working in rotation with Daws. It’s undetermined which goaltender will back up Vanecek tonight.

So, why did Daws receive the recall, again?

“(To get) NHL reps,” head coach Lindy Ruff explained. “He’s here getting some practice time against NHL shooters.”

Daws worked in rotation with Schmid during 5-on-5 drills as well as special teams throughout practice. Vanecek was the first goaltender off the ice while Schmid and Daws were last.

Get your tinfoil hats ready. When asked if there will be a corresponding move with Daws recalled for  New Jersey, Ruff said “Not yet.” The NHL roster freeze lifts at 12:01 just after midnight.

Down in the AHL, Daws has played just three games for the Comets. Despite the small sample size, the Müchen, Germany native’s numbers have been quite impressive given the fact that he’s just recovered from hip surgery. In three games, he’s accrued a 1-2-0 record, however, that’s more about the team in front of him. Daws’ personal statistics are an impressive 2.39 GAA and .929 SV%.

As a result, Ruff indicated that he and the Devils have noticed Daws’ positive play and are rewarding him with time at the varsity level.

But, what is it that Ruff and the Devils have been seeing?

“Just the fact that he’s played well (in the AHL),” Ruff concluded. “He’s one of our three goalies that we think highly of. The fact that he’s stepped back in and has played well, we let him come up here and feel out some NHL shooters.”

The Devils had an extra spot on the roster open, therefore, they could recall him without having to make any other transactions.

Perhaps Daws is in New Jersey to showcase his talents. It’s no secret that general manager Tom Fitzgerald is scouring the trade market. Maybe Daws is part of a potential deal. Or, he’s here if one of the other netminders are moved and the Devils require Daws’ services.

Time will tell. We’ll see how long he sticks around.

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