Nov 24, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
If you haven’t heard about New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas yet, maybe you should. The 22-year-old has just 15 games worth of NHL experience, but he’s already earning high praise.
Hall of Fame defenseman and former coach Larry Robinson remembers thinking that Gelinas reminded him of Chris Pronger when he saw him in training camp a few years back.
Since then, Gelinas has enjoyed a couple solid seasons in the AHL before getting his big break when the then 1-5-3 Devils summoned him. The 6-foot-4 defenseman has contributed eight points and 24 hits to help New Jersey bounce back with an 8-4-2 stretch.
Those are pretty good numbers for a rookie defenseman, but if anything, Robinson thinks that he can do better.
“I think he probably just lacks some confidence. The more he plays the more confidence he’s going to get,” Robinson told the Star-Ledger. “He could always pass and shoot the puck. He’s got a rocket. That’s kind of the way it is when you’re a rookie. You don’t always use all your tools.”
For his part, Gelinas is flattered by the praise, but emphasized that he still has a lot to learn. He also noted that Pronger “was a little more mean” than he is, although he’s interested in being more physical.
He’s been paired up with another promising young defenseman, Adam Larsson, but unlike Gelinas, Larsson has struggled significantly since being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Still, the Devils hope that those two blueliners end up being major parts of their organization for years to come.
- Lou Lamoriello unveils highly unorthodox coaching plan 4
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks, Kings renew hostilities 1
- NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins? 1
- Team Canada crushes Slovakia 12
- Criticism spreads to GM Lou Lamoriello after Devils fire DeBoer 9
- Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland 2
- Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4 5
- Devils fire DeBoer 21
- More mumps: Downie and Greiss test positive 7
- Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh 21
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)