2007-08: Eric Gelinas was selected in the first round of the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft (16th overall), then skated in 54 games for the Lewiston MAINEiacs in his first season of major junior hockey. He scored 3 goals with 16 assists and was minus-one with 34 penalty minutes. Lewiston finished fifth in the East Division one season after winning the league championship. Gelinas skated in 5 of 6 games during the first round playoff series with Cape Breton and was plus-three with no points and 2 penalty minutes.
2008-09: Gelinas assumed a leadership role in his second season with Lewiston on a young team that struggled for much of the season. The leading scorer amongst defensemen for the MAINEiacs, he scored 10 goals with 29 assists in 67 games and was minus-nine with 80 penalty minutes. Lewiston picked up things in the last three weeks to capture the final playoff spot despite winning just 22 games and finishing last in the Central Division. Gelinas had 1 assist and was minus-six with 12 penalty minutes in the four game series with Drummondville. Ranked 38th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by the Devils in the second round (54th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.
2009-10: Gelinas opened this season with Lewiston and was obtained by Chicoutimi in a mid-season trade. He scored 3 goals with 16 assists and was minus-12 with 33 penalty minutes in 33 games with Lewiston. Following the trade, he had 3 goals with 9 assists in 28 games with the Sagueneens and was minus-22 with 26 penalty minutes. Chicoutimi finished third in the Eastern Division and lost to Rimouski in a tight, seven-game series. In six playoff games Gelinas scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was plus-one with 6 penalty minutes. Gelinas signed a three-year entry-level contract with New Jersey in May 2010.
2010-11: Gelinas finished the season with Memorial Cup-winning Saint John after being involved in a mid-season QMJHL trade deadline deal for the second year in a row. Gelinas scored 9 goals with 15 assists and was -10 with 41 penalty minutes in 35 games for Chicoutimi prior to the trade. Five of his nine goals were scored on the power play. In 27 games for Saint John he scored 3 goals with 17 assists and had 26 penalty minutes. Gelinas was plus-25 as the Sea Dogs finished first in the Maritimes Division with the league’s best record. In 19 QMJHL playoff games during the Sea Dogs’ President’s Trophy run he scored 5 goals with 8 assists and was plus-10 with 25 penalty minutes. In four games at the Memorial Cup he had 1 assist with four penalty minutes.
2011-12: Gelinas made his pro debut as a 20-year-old and was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for New Jersey’s AHL affiliate Albany as a rookie. Skating in a career-high 75 games, he scored 16 goals with 21 assists and was an even plus/minus with 55 penalty minutes. He scored 8 of his 16 goals on the power play. Albany missed the playoffs for the second straight year after finishing last in the Northeast Division.
2012-13: Gelinas made his NHL debut in his second pro season — playing in New Jersey’s next-to-last game of the season — and was the top offensive defensemen for the the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany. He had no points and was -1 in 16 minute of ice time in his only NHL game, a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh. Gelinas scored 6 goals with 16 assists in 57 games for an Albany team that struggled to score goals and was +1 with 46 penalty minutes. The Devils missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division.
Gelinas is blessed with a tantalizing size/skill combination. There is still a little bit of rawness to his game, much of which can be traced to the fact that he is a converted forward. A strong skating, mobile defenseman, Gelinas loves to lead the rush up the ice and involve himself in the play offensively. He also has a bomb of a slap-shot. His defense and physical play is still a work in progress, but after his first pro season, he showed significant improvement in both of those areas.
Gelinas is expected to compete for a roster spot this season in New Jersey. The club is high on the defenseman that has shown steady progress in his development. He projects to be a second pair blueliner, but his skills can contribute to the power-play.