The New Jersey Devils have announced their 23 player roster to start the NHL season, as their training camp has now closed. They will, however, need to assign more to the Utica Comets eventually.
With the 2021-22 NHL season starting on Tuesday October 12th, teams were required to have their final 23 player rosters submitted to the league office by 5:00pm EST on Monday October 11th.
Heading toward that deadline, the Devils still had 27 players on their roster, fueling speculation that four players would have to waived and potentially reassigned to Utica. Instead of making cuts, New Jersey chose to put four players on injured reserve to become roster compliant. Those four players are: forwards Tyce Thompson and Miles Wood, as well as defensemen Ty Smith and Damon Severson.
Despite being put on injured reserve, all four players can be activated before the Devils season opening game against the Chicago Blackhawks this Friday night. To activate these players, New Jersey will have to make roster spots available for them, meaning they are not necessarily done sending players to the Comets from their training camp roster.
I reported in the article above, that Frederik Gauthier was headed to the Comets based on his being placed on waivers on October 10th. It appears that with the sudden additions to the injured reserved list, the Devils have instead decided to keep him in New Jersey for now. Gauthier also has a two way contract, so it would be expected that he is one players sent to Utica to make room for the returning regulars.
Another player expected to wind up in Utica is goaltender Scott Wedgewood. The veteran is still in New Jersey while the medical status of last seasons starter Mackenzie Blackwood is being cleared up. Once this happens, it is a foregone conclusion that Wedgewood will be sharing the Comets crease with either Nico Daws or Akira Schmid, with either Daws or Schmid heading the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL.
The Utica Comets are finished with their preseason games, and open their regular season at home against the Rochester Americans on Sunday, October 17th.