As first reported by NewJersey.com’s Ryan Novozinsky, the New Jersey Devils have placed defenseman Dougie Hamilton on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 28, and called up Simon Nemec.
Hamilton missed Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury. He played just 13:25 on Tuesday against the New York Islanders before leaving the game in the second period. Samuel Laberge was called in to make his NHL debut, with Brendan Smith filling in on defense.
Late Friday afternoon, the Devils announced that Hamilton’s injury is a torn left pectoral muscle and will keep him out indefinitely.
Hamilton is in his third season with the Devils, scoring five goals and 16 points in 20 games. After a difficult first season with New Jersey in 2021-22, Hamilton exploded with a career-best 22 goals and 74 points in 82 games last year. He ultimately received Norris Trophy consideration, but wasn’t named as a finalist. In an 82-game season, Hamilton was on pace for 66 goals, which would have been the second-best output of the 30-year-old’s career.
Hamilton signed a massive seven-year deal worth $9 million per season ahead of the 2021-22 NHL campaign.
Nemec, 19, has spent the season with the AHL’s Utica Comets, scoring twice and adding six assists for eight points in 13 games. He had 12 goals and 34 points as an AHL rookie last year, a season that also saw him represent Slovakia at the world juniors and World Championship. He’s eligible to represent the Slovaks at the WJC for a second time this year.
Nemec could make his NHL debut as soon as tonight when the Devils welcome the San Jose Sharks to town. They’ll then get the rest of the weekend off before an all-Hughes brothers matchup on Tuesday. New Jersey sits sixth in the Metropolitan Division with an 11-9-1 record, but are riding a three-game win streak – the best active run in the Eastern Conference.