For the 26-year-old forward, it may just be the fresh start he was looking for. After missing 25 games last season with a concussion, D’Agostini has struggled with the Blues this year. In 16 games, he has just one goal and one assist. His on-ice role and playing time has also been seriously diminished since his breakout two seasons ago when he recorded 21 goals and 25 assists in 82 games.
“We just had a lot of depth and a couple of bad stretches,” D’Agostini said to reporters when addressing the media. “The next thing you know you get pushed out of the rotation. I got my chances in St. Louis and I had a great time there. I really enjoyed my time there. This is just another chapter and I’m really excited to be here.”
“I was shocked,” he continued. “Tough to say goodbye to the guys and the team, but at the same time very excited to be here and to be part of this organization.”
Coach Pete DeBoer is familiar with D’Agostini since he coached him in juniors.
“For me he’s a top nine forward so we’re going to give him that opportunity,” DeBoer said in an interview prior to last night’s contest.
The Devils are certainly hoping D’Agostini can regain his scoring touch since the offense has needed life support at times during the past month. In the absence of Ilya Kovalchuk who will be out for the next two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, the team will be looking for guys to step up to fill his goal-scoring role.
D’Agostini was glad to put his Devils’ debut behind him.
“I wanted to get that one out of the way,” he said in the locker room after the game. “I’ve felt better. My legs were a little heavy at times but they started to coming around as the game went on.”