Is A Keith Kinkaid Trade In The Devils Future?


In a season of disappointment for the New Jersey Devils there has been one aspect of their team that has been strong the entire season, their goaltenders. Devils starting goalie Cory Schneider (39 GP, 15-19-4 W/L/OTL, .919 SV%) and 25 year-old backup Keith Kinkaid (8 GP, 1-2-3 W/L/OTL, .924 SV%) have been solid so far this season with a very poor team playing in front of them. While their numbers may not be some of the best in the league, they are still respectable given the play of the rest of the team this season.

Scott Clemmensen initially began the season as the team’s backup goaltender, but after some lackluster showings and strong play from Kinkaid in both the AHL and NHL, Kinkaid took over as the team’s backup.  He has started 5 of the 8 games he has appeared in and is 1-1-3 as a starter this year having allowed 12 goals with a .923 save %. It’s also important to note the opponents he has faced in those 5 starts this season.

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  • Kinkaid made his first start of the season against the

    Chicago Blackhawks

    on 12/9 and

    was impressive

    , stopping 37 of 39 while losing in a shoot-out. Kinkaid would lose his next start almost a week later in a shoot-out to the

    New York Islanders

    in which he

    played strong again

    stopping 31 of 33 shots. He earned

    his first NHL victory

    in his next start against the

    Tampa Bay Lightning

    , but lost in his next start vs.


    . His most recent start of the season saw him

    lose once again to the Islanders

    , this time in OT.

    In the five games he’s started Keith Kinkaid has faced strong teams who have an impressive combined record of 112-53-10 and has earned the Devils 5 out of a possible 10 points. In most of these games Kinkaid has looked impressive and kept the Devils in the games even with their struggles. Certainly you can’t pin the two shoot-out losses on him when his team only converts on 1 of 7 shoot-out attempts.

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    Why He Won’t Be Traded

    With all of that being said and the trade deadline approaching on March 2nd, could Keith Kinkaid be traded? In my opinion I don’t think he will be traded for a few reasons.

    Even though Kinkaid has played well this season in his 5 starts he still only has 9 total games of NHL experience and I doubt a team would be willing to give up much to put Kinkaid in a starting role. His lack of NHL experience also means that he would be a gamble to start in a playoff game or even serve as a backup for a playoff game.

    I also think Devils GM Lou Lamoriello likes Kinkaid’s potential and doesn’t want to give him up unless he gets something more promising in return. I say that because the coaching staff has shown confidence in him through the quality of the opponents he has been given starts against (believe me that wasn’t just a coincidence). Kinkaid’s trade value is not that high right now and the only way I see that increasing fast this season is if there is a rash of goalie injuries throughout the league.

    Why He Could Be Traded

    Simply put, there may not be much room for Kinkaid in the future with the Devils. He is still young at 25 years-old and will be a restricted free-agent after this season, however with Cory Schneider firmly entrenched as the starter will Kinkaid accept a backup role?

    While I don’t believe there is much value in trading Kinkaid by himself, I definitely could see him being included in a package deal with a rental player for a higher draft pick or prospects. Ultimately the trade market for goalies and the amount of buyers will determine if the price will be right for a potential Keith Kinkaid trade.