When the Devils took Jeff Frazee with the 38th overall pick at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft -- the fourth goalie taken behind Carey Price, Tuukka Rask and Tyler Plante -- there was some thought they’d found a potential replacement for Martin Brodeur.
Eight years later, that thought has all but died.
Frazee has left the Devils to sign with Valpellice of Italy’s Elite A league, the club announced on Friday. The 26-year-old is headed to Italy after his agent told NorthJersey.com there was also interest from the Swedish Hockey League.
A former University of Minnesota standout, Frazee only made one appearance with the Devils -- a three-save relief of Johan Hedberg this past March -- spending the majority of the last five seasons in the AHL (he was named to the league’s All-Star Game in 2008-09).
It’s likely the addition of Cory Schneider at the NHL Draft (and the iimpending platoon between Schneider and Martin Brodeur) played a role in Frazee moving on, along with the emergence of young netminder Keith Kinkaid.
It should be noted the Devils did want to retain Frazee -- GM Lou Lamoriello told NorthJersey.com that “we have every intention of bringing Jeff back,” prior to Frazee becoming an unrestricted free agent in July.