Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Devils Deal Stempniak to Bruins

The New Jersey Devils have parted with the present to help set up the future.

The Devils dealt top scorer Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth) before the end of Monday’s NHL trading deadline, to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a pair of draft picks. The Devils received Boston’s fourth-round choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, plus the Bruins’ 2017 second-round selection.

Stempniak, 33, led the Devils with 41 points in 63 games to date, including 16 goals. He was also dealt at last year’s trading deadline, going from the New York Rangers to the Winnipeg Jets at the time.

A native of West Seneca, N.Y., Stempniak tallied 63 goals and 88 assists for 151 points in 135 career NCAA outings at Dartmouth, according to USCHO.com, including 16 power-play goals and eight game-winners. He notched a career-high 21 goals and 49 points as a sophomore with the Big Green in 2002-03, and was subsequently drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fifth round (148th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was also a First Team All-America selection as a junior, and a second team choice as a senior.

In 771 career NHL regular-season games with St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary, Pittsburgh, the Rangers and New Jersey, Stempniak has collected 181-229—410 points to go along with 287 penalty minutes, per hockeydb.com. He has a further three goals and six points in 28 Stanley Cup playoff appearances.

Stempniak should make his Bruins’ debut tonight when Boston hosts Calgary, as should defenseman John-Michael Liles (Michigan State). The former Spartan blueliner was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes yesterday in exchange for Carolina’s 2016 third-round pick, its 2017 fifth-round pick, and prospect Anthony Camara. Liles, 35, an Indianapolis native, has recorded 87-272—359 points in 783 NHL regular-season outings with Colorado, Toronto and Carolina. He accumulated 44-94—138 points in four seasons at MSU from 1999 to 2003, and twice earned All-America accolades.

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