Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello has no doubt that rookie Stefan Matteau is on the verge of a long and successful NHL career.

But on Sunday, the Devils sent the 19-year-old left winger back to his junior club, Blainsville-Boisbriand, so that he will be eligible to play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs this spring.

In 17 games for the Devils this season, Matteau had three points (one goal, two assists) and was minus-1 with six penalty minutes.

"The (QMJHL) playoffs are coming up. In Quebec you have to be on the roster at a certain point of time in order to be eligible," Lamoriello explained. "We looked at the situation, and for his development we felt it was best for him to go back.

"We know what we have. He’s going to be a size-and-strength wing in this organization for a long time. In all fairness, maybe we put him in a tough situation where maybe he should’ve grown a little more."