Devils' Dougie Hamilton to Undergo Surgery on Broken Jaw Injury; Will Be Placed on IR

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2022

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 31:  Dougie Hamilton #7 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on December 31, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Oilers 6-5 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils announced defenseman Dougie Hamilton was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday ahead of surgery for a broken jaw on Wednesday.

Hamilton left Sunday's win over the Washington Capitals in the first period after being struck by a puck. He's recorded 20 points (seven goals and 13 assists) in 30 games during the 2021-22 NHL season, his first as a member of the Devils.

New Jersey assistant coach Alain Nasreddine, who's leading the staff on an interim basis while head coach Lindy Ruff is in COVID-19 protocols, previously confirmed the 28-year-old blueliner would miss Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins.

A timetable for Hamilton's potential return wasn't immediately announced.

The Toronto native was one of the NHL offseason's marquee free-agent signings, landing with the Devils on a seven-year, $63 million contract in July.

In November, Hamilton told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski the lucrative deal didn't put any additional pressure on his shoulders.

"It's definitely weird. I don't feel like that. I don't want to portray that at all," he said. "For me, I just feel like I'm a new guy. I don't have an aura or anything like that. I'm just trying to fit in. I don't want to be above anyone else."

His 20 points are tied for 19th among NHL defensemen this season.

Hamilton was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Boston Bruins. He made his debut for the B's during the 2012-13 season and went on to play for the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes before landing in New Jersey.

In all, the 2020-21 All-Star selection has racked up 361 points (113 goals and 248 assists) across 637 regular-season appearances.

The Devils have shown some improvement amid a modest three-game winning streak, which has pushed their record to 13-15-5 following a sluggish start to the campaign.

Now, they'll try to maintain that upward trajectory without one of their most important players.