New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton out with broken jaw; surgery slated for Wednesday

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022
ESPN

BOSTON -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday on his broken jaw, three days after taking a puck to the face early in the team's game at theWashington Capitals.

The Devils did not give a timetable for his return. They put Hamilton on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday, when he was struck by a shot from Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz seven minutes into the first period.

Hamilton returned to New Jersey to be evaluated while the Devils went to Boston to face off against the Bruins on Tuesday night. The 28-year-old, who signed a seven-year, $63 million contract with the Devils last summer, is among their top scorers this season with 20 points on seven goals and 13 assists in 30 games.

Hamilton is a fixture on an improving power play, and his ability to keep pucks in the zone, keep attacking plays alive and shoot from the point will be missed on a young team. The Devils lost to the Bruins, 5-3.

The Devils on Tuesday were also without captain Nico Hischier, who is out with a lower body injury. Hischier appeared to injure a foot blocking a shot Sunday vs. the Capitals, though he finished the game and scored the winner in overtime.

The team also announced Tuesday that veteran goaltender Jonathan Bernier underwent successful right hip surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Bernier's absence has left young starter Mackenzie Blackwood without a valuable backup and mentor. Blackwood struggled vs. the Bruins, allowing five goals on 34 shots.

It's the second year in a row that the Devils have brought in a veteran backup only to see the move not materialize. Before the 2020 season, Corey Crawford agreed to a deal with the Devils but retired during training camp after a standout career with the Chicago Blackhawks.

New Jersey activated Tomas Tatar off the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list but added fellow forwards Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sharangovich. They did not play in Tuesday's loss, but Tatar did score in his return.

The Devils had won three in a row since returning from the league's COVID-19 pause, prior to facing off with Boston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.