The New Jersey Devils claimed defenseman Nick DeSimone off waivers from the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
In a corresponding move, the Devils placed center Jack Hughes on the injured reserve retroactive to January 5th.
As a result of two players taking an indefinite leave of absence, the Devils needed bodies. As a result, DeSimone crosses from Canada to the United States going from Calgary to New Jersey.
Born in East Amherst, New York, the 29-year-old 6-foot-2, 185 lb defenseman went undrafted after three seasons in the NCAA at Union College. The San Jose Sharks signed DeSimone in the spring of 2017, however, he spent all of his time in the American Hockey League with affiliate San Jose Barracuda. DeSimone made a brief stop in Rochester to play for the Americans before spending the last three seasons with the Flames AHL affiliate in Stockton/Calgary Wranglers.
However, over the last two seasons, DeSimone has earned some NHL playing time. This season, DeSimone played 23 games with the Flames collecting one goal and four assists. He did not collect a point in four games with the Flames last season.
DeSimone has become a point collector from the blueline at the AHL level. Last season, DeSimone scored eight goals and 46 points in 65 games for the Wranglers. He’s accrued eight assists in 10 AHL games this season.
From the boots on the ground in Calgary, here’s what Calgary Hockey Now’s Trevor Neufeld said he saw in DeSimone.
“DeSimone is heavy on the offence, although not great at boxing out players in front of the net. He’s your classic extra forward-style blue liner. DeSimone struggled off the rush against star players. He and Jordan Oesterle as a pairing was rough, but that’s because they’re both the same type of player.
“He struggled in his last game as a Calgary Flame. Auston Matthews blew past both him and Oesterle for a goal and later overpowered Nick in front of the net to complete a hat trick. DeSimone probably just needs an anchor to play with.”
The Devils recalled Justin Dowling and Daniil Misyul earlier on Thursday. We’ll see if Misyul hangs around in the NHL much longer, or if the Devils opt to return him to the Utica Comets.