Ben Walter, who was recalled from Lowell (AHL) this morning, will be in the lineup tonight when the Devils host the Canadiens.
Walter, 25, leads the Devils’ top affiliate in scoring with 31 points (14g-17a) and will fill in at center for Rod Pelley, who was placed on injured reserve today, retroactive to Jan. 18.
“I try to work hard,” Walter said. “I feel like I can make plays with the puck, look for my teammates and try to set guys up. I try to be solid defensively so the coach can count on me in any situation.”
Walter earned high praise from first-year head coach John MacLean earlier this month, when Lowell hosted Hartford in Newark.
“He’s a veteran,” MacLean said. “He’s been around. He’s so smart, intelligent. He plays the game the right way and each night he comes out and competes and gives us something, which has been a good thing for us and a credit to him.”
MacLean’s confidence in him has translated into on-ice success.
“That’s helped me along knowing that he can look to me in any situation,” Walter said. “It feels good when a coach is confident in you like that.”
Walter found out about the call-up on Thursday. He was told to head to New Jersey, where he could expect to play against the Canadiens.
“I’ve worked hard, played well,” he said. “Now’s my chance. People get a chance and you have to make the most of it.”
Walter is the son of former Canadien Ryan Walter, who is currently an assistant coach with Vancouver.
NJD NOTESVladimir Zharkov
will be back in the lineup tonight after he was scratched from Wednesday's game with a lower body injury. … Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire was surprised by the lower body injury that has landed Rod Pelley on the IR. "Everything was fine," Lemaire said. "It happened suddenly and there's nothing you can do." … Both Patrick Davis and Nick Palmieri will be in the lineup for a second straight game.