The New Jersey Devils have long been a friendly and welcoming home to Boston College hockey alums. That tradition continues with the call up of Joe Whitney, a member of the Boston College Class of 2011 and two-time champion with the Eagles.
Whitney, currently the leading goal scorer for the AHL's Albany Devils, will get a chance to impress right away - he will skate on the first line with Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr. Not bad. Take it away, NJ.com/The Star-Ledger:
The morning after farming out Reid Boucher, the Devils brought in another rookie to take a shot at producing as the left wing on the top line.
Joe Whitney, the top goal scorer and point producer the last two seasons at AHL Albany, was called up by the Devils on Thursday and is skating with center Travis Zajac and right wing Jaromir Jagr at practice.
Meantime, center Adam Henrique participated in the practice after leaving Tuesday's 7-1 win over St. Louis after two periods with an undisclosed injury.
Whitney, who is wearing No. 9, will make his NHL debut on Friday night when the Devils play the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center.
“With everybody becoming healthy, we’ve got to try to find a left wing certainly for Travis and Jaromir,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said. “We’re going to give Joe a chance. He’s leading us in scoring in the minors. He led us last year."
Lamoriello says Whitney's consistency improving led to this opportunity.
Just 5-foot-6, Whitney has 16 goals and 36 points in 40 AHL games this season. Last year, he scored 26 goals and 51 points.
“He competes every second,” Lamoriello said. "He has good hockey sense. And he knows how to handle his size as far as his positioning. He's been extremely consistent. And the things that we thought he had to improve on last year, he has. He deserves that opportunity to see what he can do.”
A Reading Mass., native, Whitney joined the Devils’ organization in 2011-12, the year after he completed a four-year college career at Boston College that included two NCAA titles. He signed a two-year contract with the Devils last May.