Devils’ D Mark Fraser on Returning to the NHL

Mark Fraser reflects on his bumpy road back to the Devils

A lot of Devils wind up coming back to the organization, so it is not so shocking that Mark Fraser is back with the team three years after he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks.

The shocking aspect, perhaps, is that the 28-year-old defenseman is still able to play hockey after the injury he suffered on May 8, 2013. Fraser was struck above the right eye by a Milan Lucic shot during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-round playoff game against the Boston Bruins.

After concern for his life, he was able to return to hockey only after major surgery. The scar near his right eyebrow is still very visible.

“It was reconstructing the frontal lobe,” Fraser said Saturday. “The analogy I often use is re-plastering a drywall hole. There are a few small bone fragments that were discarded but the main ones they pulled out and shielded over with metal plates and mesh.

“I’m sure if it was on the side or back of the head I might’ve had a concussion. Thankfully it was the hardest bone, so I had no concussion or vision loss. The main concern for the doctors was potential brain damage or bleeding in the brain. Thankfully there was none of that at all.”

Fraser picked up a fighting major in his first game after being called up. He fought the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds.

Wayne Simmonds vs Mark Fraser, Jan 3, 2015