With Ryan Carter returning to the lineup against the Blackhawks following a knee injury, winger Mattias Tedenby was put on non-roster waivers by the team. The move allows for another team to claim him, but if he is not claimed, he can be sent down to Albany.
This move isn’t very surprising, in fact it was a move that seemed like it was bound to happen. With Tedenby being put on non-roster waivers, it not only immediately cleared the roster space for Carter, but it does allow the Devils to stick him in Albany. At this point, it’s just a matter of if he gets claimed by any team. If he is not claimed by noon on Saturday, he will be sent to the A-Devils.
At this juncture, it would be a better move for both parties if Tedenby is claimed by another team. The speedy, former first-round draft pick has shown some flashes of strong play, but has been plagued by inconsistency in his career. He never really seemed to fit into the Devils system, which requires both strong forechecking and backchecking.
On a team that runs a more wide-open system, the Vetlanda, Sweden native has the speed and stick handling ability to make some plays. Perhaps a team out west like Edmonton or Colorado would be a nice fit for his skill set.
Not all is lost for Mattias, as he could end up going to Albany. Of course, his two-way contract of $600,000 would still count in Albany. They’d have to pay all of the remaining money on the contract if Tedenby plays either in Albany or New Jersey for the rest of the season.
The fact is, this is a move that had to be done. With more players coming back over the next few days, the Devils had to finally risk losing Tedenby via waivers. His best season with New Jersey came in 2010-2011, when he scored eight goals and added 14 assists, while playing in 58 games for New Jersey. Tedenby has just two goals for New Jersey in the three seasons since, in 62 games. He has one goal in 15 games this year, with a minus-eight rating.
Though there was so much promise surrounding him when the Devils used the twenty-fourth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to select him, it’s clear that his years of inconsistent play may find him once again in Albany, or even another team’s sweater in the near future.
Though he sports a scar from the past, Mattias Tedenby is focused on the future.
After scoring a goal in the Devils 2-1 preseason win over the Rangers, the Swedish winger is hoping that he can continue to impress the coaching staff and make the team out of camp. With the recent addition of Damien Brunner into camp on a tryout, there is a logjam of players fighting for only a few spots.
The past is still too real for the young forward. While playing in Albany last season, Tedenby took a skate to the face, which resulted in a cut on his right cheek that reportedly took over 130 stitches to close. While the injury has healed, what cannot be ignored is the amount of time that he has spent up in Albany with the AHL Devils.
In fact, the former first round draft pick has seen his time in New Jersey decrease over that time. He broke into the league with 58 games played in New Jersey during his rookie year, followed by 43 in 2011-2012 and only four last season.
Armed with a new one-year contract for 2013-2014, Tedenby is down to what might be his last chance to impress the coaches and finally solidify himself as an everyday NHL player.
The goal against the Rangers was a great start, but Devils fans have seen this before from him; a good game that instantly increases expectations, followed by a streak of inconsistent play.
“To start off with a goal and a win, it feels pretty good,” said Tedenby after the preseason opener. “It’s good for the confidence and good for me personally, too.”
In an effort to be stronger on the puck, the 23-year-old winger, who is wearing number nine this year, has added some muscle. “Physically, in the corners and stuff it helps, but it takes a little bit of time to adjust to more weight. [You] get tired faster, but if I get a few more practices, it’ll turn out good.”
There is no doubt that the Vetlanda, Sweden native has the offensive skill to put up points in the NHL. He has struggled with positioning and defensive responsibility in the Devils system, which requires forwards to backcheck consistently. He is looking to show the coaching staff that he can play a sound, two-way game.
“I thought Teddy had a very good game,” said Pete DeBoer. “With him, it’s one game at a time, like with all of the guys who are fighting for those roster spots. You play a good game and you get an opportunity to play another one.”
That was a response that sums up Tedenby pretty well. He has the speed and stick handling to make an impact, but he the biggest thing for him is to come out and play well every night. One goal helps, but it wont mean much if he can’t follow up his performance with a few more solid outings before roster cuts have to be made.For all the progress he might have made thus far, one bad game could put him right back where he started.
This is the make-or-break year for Mattias Tedenby, or else a once promising future will quickly become his past.
Even thought the Devils are off today, the team decided to return Tim Sestito to AHL Albany, which clears up a roster spot. With Ilya Kovalchuk not ready to return, this raises the question of what the Devils plan to do with the free space. Could Dainius Zubrus be ready to return?
As Gulitti points out, it would be out of character for Zubrus to return to the lineup without getting so much as one full practice with the team. As we saw with Alexei Ponikarovsky, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Tallinder, the Devils prefer an injured player get at least one full, non-morning-skate practice in and sometimes more than that. However, there was no one placed on waivers Sunday and there’s no reason for the Devils to clear a spot so far in advance of any possible trade. It could be that the Devils wanted Sestito to do play, something he wasn’t going to do in New Jersey. Maybe Zubrus will take part in tomorrow’s morning skate, practice with the team Wednesday and return to the lineup Thursday. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens at tomorrow’s morning skate.
This on the heels of Jon Merrill’s ATO becoming official earlier Friday, meaning the Devils’ farm system will have a pair of top prospects on their roster for the rest of the season. It should be a good test of what both can do against professional competition, although I wouldn’t expect what happens over the final month to be anything other than a brief glimpse into the two players’ talent. Boucher, in particular, will likely need some time to adjust from the pro game after spending his career in junior. While Merrill’s college experience should help him transition better, Boucher could struggle at first when faced with a bigger, faster game. It’ll be fascinating to see how his high-scoring potential translates to the AHL, though
Prospect Buzz: Albany Goaltending Has Not Been A Problem
While the New Jersey Devils goaltending has been a source of recent stress, the Albany Devils have not struggled with such problems.
The three-headed monster of Keith Kinkaid, Jeff Frazee and Scott Wedgewood have combined for an .899 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average in 59 games.
Toss out Wedgewood’s so-so three games, and Frazee and Kinkaid have combined for a 2.62 goals-against and .912 save percentage.
“(Kinkaid) has been good for us all year,” Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said Sunday after Albany’s 2-0 loss to Bridgeport. “Our goaltending hasn’t been an issue.”
The problem is, Kinkaid and Frazee — and more recently Wedgewood — have been doomed by Albany’s sudden lack of offense. As was discussed Sunday, Albany’s power play is converting just 11.4 percent of the time.
“We’d be sitting in a lot better position than we are now if it was better,” Kowalsky said.
With Tim Sestito called up — and perhaps another forward making the jump after Alex Ponikarovsky’s recent injury — offense may continue to be the A-Devils’ downfall.
Most of you know that Stefan Matteau was sent back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Sunday.
But what does that actually mean?
Matteau was eligible to return to Blainville-Brisbois because he is only 19-years old. When Blainville-Brisbois’ season ends — the Armada open a best-of-seven series with Acadie-Bathurst Thursday — Matteau will be eligible to complete the year with Albany or return to New Jersey.
Matteau, who only recorded three points in 17 games, already has played in enough NHL games to start his waiver clock. I imagine since Matteau obviously was not quite NHL ready yet, the Devils are trying to let him gain some confidence and keep him from reaching the 160 games which also would remove him from waiver exemption.