NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils are keeping first-round draft pick Stefan Matteau with the NHL team for now.
The Devils put the 18-year-old Matteau in the lineup for Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, marking his sixth game of the regular season. The decision means that the first year of his contract kicks in for this lockout-shortened 48-game season.
Matteau can still be sent down to play junior hockey, but his entry level contract is now active.
Matteau played in the first five games of the season without registering a point. He sat the past four while Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello made a decision on his status. He played at left wing on New Jersey's top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk.