The 23-year-old Smith-Pelly was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2010, going 42nd overall. Almost a year ago today, he was traded from Anaheim to the Montreal Canadiens for Jiri Sekac.
In 46 games with the Habs, Smith-Pelly put up a dozen points. He averages 11 minutes of ice time a game and is by and large a checking forward. He should prove a nice fit for the Devils and will have the opportunity to get out of a disappointing situation in Montreal.
Smith-Pelly was a fourth line player for the Habs and he displayed a lot of grit, which made him a valuable target for playoff-bound teams. But the Devils are sixth in the Metropolitan Division, with a 30-26-7 record and diminishing hopes for the post-season. They have 67 points, six back of the New York Islanders.
The 22-year-old Matteau was drafted by the Devils in 2012, going 29th overall. He inked an entry level deal in August of 2012, but he’s only played in 44 career regular season games. He has five career points, including two goals.
The winger didn’t really find a place on the fourth line in New Jersey and was recently sent down to Albany for a conditioning stint after not having played an NHL game since January 14. He’s spent considerable time in the press box and has to be looking to see more action in Montreal.
Matteau has been described as a “prototypical power forward” and he certainly brings a big body to the table. He can bang and crash in the corners, plus he has some considerable skill that could show up for the Habs if he’s given the chance. He is a little rough around the edges and can take some bad penalties, but Montreal might give him what he needs at this point.