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Zubrus to IR, Loktionov recalled

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

The Devils have placed Dainius Zubrus on injured reserve and recalled center Andrei Loktionov from Albany (AHL).

Loktionov, who was acquired from Los Angeles on Feb. 6 for a fifth-round selection in 2013, took part in Wednesday's optional practice. He posted seven goals, 15 assists and a plus-6 in 37 games this season with the Kings' AHL affiliate in Manchester, and was a minus-1 in two appearances with Albany.

"I was happy to change atmospheres," Loktionov said of the trade. "It's my dream to be in the NHL. I'm so (happy to be in) New Jersey. It's a new team."

Loktionov, 22, tallied seven points (3g-4a) in 39 games with Los Angeles last season, and has seven goals, seven assists in 59 NHL games, all with the Kings. He was L.A.'s fifth-round selection, 123rd overall, in 2008.

"He seems like he has the potential to be a good fit for us and how we want to play," head coach Peter DeBoer said. "We'll see what he looks like."

Adam Henrique knows Loktionov well. They were teammates with Windsor (OHL) during the Spitfires' run to the 2009 Memorial Cup title.

"He's a great player," Henrique said. "It's nice to have him a part of the team and get a chance to play up here. He's shifty, he creates a lot of opportunities out there for everybody. He's got a knack for scoring goals around the net. He's calm in tight situations. I'm looking forward to him getting into his first game."

"We're good friends," Loktionov said of Henrique. "I've known him a long time. When we played together, he always helped me because I came here, I didn't speak English. He would pick me up from my home to the rink and from the rink back home. He was always with me."  

Loktionov said he's most comfortable playing center, but DeBoer believes versatility is important for any young player looking to crack the lineup.

"The thing about playing in the NHL is, if you limit yourself to one position, there's four jobs on a team," DeBoer said. "If you're versatile, there's 12 forward jobs. It's simple math to me: make yourself versatile."

Zubrus (upper body), who has missed the last four games, last played on Feb. 5 vs. the Rangers. He has one goal and three assists in nine contests.

"We're still not sure of how long it will be," said Devils' President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello. "We'll have a better knowledge of that over the next 48 hours."

• Mathieu Darche, who returned home to Montreal for the weekend, is set to return to practice on Thursday. The Devils have placed Dainius Zubrus on injured reserve and recalled center Andrei Loktionov from Albany (AHL).

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