3 injured Devils return to practice in Toronto | What it means

TORONTO — Injured forwards Jesper Bratt Stefan Noesen, plus defenseman Steven Santini, practiced on Thursday at Scotiabank Arena.

All three remain on injured reserve, but a full practice from them could indicate their return to the Devils‘ lineup is coming soon.

Bratt in particular could be very close to playing in a game. He has been skating and doing some on-ice team activities in recent weeks while recovering from a broken jaw suffered on Oct. 4 in Sweden.

Devils coach John Hynes said Tuesday Bratt could be back in the lineup by the end of the team’s current road trip, which ends with games against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

“It is a possibility,” Hynes said. “He’s really done a good job. His recovery’s gone well, we’ve pushed him really hard, so physically he’s in shape and ready to go. Hopefully he gets cleared here and hopefully he’s back before the end of the trip.”

Observations from Sens loss

Bratt has missed all 13 games the Devils have played so far this season. The winger finished with 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in 74 games as a rookie last season.

Noesen has missed the Devils’ previous four games due to a lower body injury, which he suffered in an 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 30. Noesen had a partial practice before going on IR, and Thursday marked his first full team activity since then.

Santini was the biggest surprise of the three. After breaking his jaw on Oct. 20 in Philadelphia, he was expected to miss four to six weeks. He was wearing a full cage over his face, so he might still need some time to get cleared for game action.

The Devils also placed goalie Eddie Lack on waivers on Thursday after he finished his conditioning assignment in the AHL with the Binghamton Devils. If Lack clears on Friday, he will remain in the AHL as insurance for Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid.

Putting Lack on waivers did free up an NHL roster spot, so Bratt or Noesen would be able to jump in without an additional move. If both are ready to play on Friday, the Devils would need to make one more subtraction.

Based on the Devils’ lines from practice, Bratt appears to be preparing to play in Friday’s game in Toronto.



GOALIES (no order)

Chris Ryan may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find NJ.com Devils on Facebook.

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