Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 10/15/11

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Matt Halischuk #16 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Ottawa Senators at the Prudential Center on November 25, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils won the game 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Saturday night’s contest against the Nashville Predators and the New Jersey Devils marks the first time Matt Halischuk will play against his former team. Sent to Nashville in the trade that shipped former Captain Jason Arnott out of Music City, Halischuk left quite the impression on his former teammates.

“He’s a really hard working, nice quiet kid,” Devils Captain Zach Parise said after morning skate on Saturday. “I thought he played pretty well for us,” Parise added.

In 21 games for the Devils during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, Halischuk scored 1 goal and added 1 assist for 2 points and was a minus 4.

“You could tell he wanted to get better,” Parise said about his former teammate. “He’s going to be a pretty good player in this League. He was a good kid.”

Halischuk has improved. Last season, the right wing suited up for 27 games with Nashville and scored 4 goals while adding 8 assists for 12 points. Halischuk was also the overtime hero during game two of the Western Conference semi-finals when he scored to end the game and even the series at a game apiece.

This year, he already has found the scoresheet with the game-winning goal against Columbus to open the season on October 7th.

Center Rod Pelley was Halischuk’s linemate when the two forwards played for the Devils American Hockey League affiliate, the Lowell Devils. Pelley could not stop raving about his former linemate.

“I have nothing but great things to say about [Halischuk]. He’s your typical hard working, very intelligent hockey player. You can use him in any situation,” Pelley said. “As a linemate, he made things very easy. There is unlimited amount of good things I could say about him.”

Tickets are still available for tonight’s contest. Puck drops shortly after 7 pm at Bridgestone Arena.

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