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Meet the 25-year-old Devils rookie that’s going to play with Jagr and Zajac

Jan 23, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

JoeWhitney

New Jersey recalled forward Joe Whitney from AHL Albany on Thursday and, if GM Lou Lamoriello sticks to his word, Whitney could be in line for quite the NHL debut tomorrow.

“With everybody becoming healthy we’ve got to try to find a left wing for Travis [Zajac] and [Jaromir] Jagr,” Lamoriello said, per NorthJersey.com. “So we’re going to give Joe a chance.”

Whitney, 25, was an undrafted free agent out of Boston College that signed an AHL pact with Albany in 2011. A diminutive skater — he’s listed as 5-foot-6, 170 pounds — Whitney has been a productive scorer at the American League level and currently leads Albany in goals (16), assists  (20) and points (36).

If Whitney’s story sounds familiar, it should. New Jersey already features another undersized, undrafted ex-BC forward that worked his way to the NHL — Stephen Gionta, who spent years in the AHL before making his big-league debut at age 27.

Lamoriello says Whitney has earned his chance with the Devils.

“He’s leading us in scoring in the minors, and he led us last year,” Lamoriello explained. “He deserves the opportunity.”

According to this morning’s line rushes, Whitney looks as though he’ll indeed skate with Jagr and Zajac. The Devils next play on Friday in New Jersey against the Washington Capitals.

(Headshot courtesy TheAHL.com)

  1. nj666 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    The only reason they did this was to send boucher into the minors in time before olympic. This makes more sense than trying that 7 dmen crap again, now that peter (the horrible) harrold is healthy.

    • guanacoracing - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Not Olympics related:

      “That will never get in the way as far as making decisions,” Lamoriello said. “These games are too important. We’re not making any roster decisions to do with the Olympic break or people can’t go because of time. This is hockey, totally hockey.”

      From northjersey.com F&I blog

      • nj666 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        Lou says a lot of things, but all logical reasons lead to boucher going to albany to keep playing. You cant have a young kid take a long break like this. It could throw him off his game. He will be able to keep his game going in albany.

  2. prd797 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Best of luck to him! Always rooting for the guys who are underestimated for their lack of size to succeed in this league.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Lack of size? This guy has to wear platforms in order to ride the roller coaster’s at six flags!

      ZING!

      I’m sorry… I say mean things, but its really a commentary about my own self-esteem. I’m a mess.

      *cries*

      He’s still really short though. Like… shorter than Zuccarello short.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        LOL cofran. And he towers over Dominika Cibulkova, who is in the finals at the Australian Open. They’d make a cute couple, though they might get carded a lot.

  3. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Hopefully he uses his size in the NHL the same way St. Louis does. He’s given the chance to shine at this level to be on a great line (hopefully)

    Glad to see the Devils using their guys like Sislo, Boucher and now Whitney.

  4. logicalcomment - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    5″6 wow my habs should sign him !

  5. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Another note to Halford: “ex-BC forward that worked his way to the NHL”
    For people (and named pets), we say “who”.
    For things, we say “that”.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Mike, it’d be nice if your mom just shouted down the stairs.

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