New Jersey Devils: Mackenzie Blackwood Close To A New Contract

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mackenzie Blackwood’s contract extension is great news for the New Jersey Devils.

UPDATE: It was reported by the New Jersey Devils themselves that Mackenzie Blackwood signed a three-year deal for a total of $8.4 million. This makes it a $2.8 million average annual value.

It was first reported by Kevin Weeks that the New Jersey Devils and Mackenzie Blackwood are close to a three-year deal. Blackwood, an RFA, has been waiting for this moment for a long time. He has been so great for the New Jersey Devils in his young career so far so they really needed to get him locked in for a few more years. This contract extension is great news for the Devils and all of the fans.

Everyone knows that the goaltending position is the game of hockey. After a year or so of uncertainty at the position, New Jersey seems to have it figured out for a little bit. They now have Blackwood for at minimum three more years. They also signed free-agent goalie Corey Crawford to a two-year deal earlier in the offseason so they should make a great duo. They are literally on opposite sides of their careers which is going to make really cool to see them work together.

Blackwood deserves to be given a contract like this. He proved in 2019-20 that he is good enough to be a great starter in the NHL and he could perhaps even be a star goalie. Everyone would say that Carter Hart in Philly is already a star goalie and Blackwood had very comparable numbers to him during the regular season last year.

He had a record of 22-14-8 with three shutouts last season. That is a very good record when you consider the fact that the New Jersey Devils were 28-29-12. The other goalies that had starts combined to go 6-15-4 so you know how important he is. He has to prove that he can do it again but at 24 years old, there is no reason to believe he can’t. His 2019-20 save percentage of .915 and a goals-against-average of 2.77 were definitely encouraging. He came in 6th place for the Calder Memorial Trophy for the league’s top rookie.

This was awesome news to hear late at night for those who were awake. Blackwood is a big key to the organization but they need to keep building. Hopefully, in his short stay with the New Jersey Devils, Corey Crawford is really able to help Blackwood know everything there is to know about being a championship goalie. It is the most important position on the team because you can’t win unless it is awesome.

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Blackwood isn’t the only player that needed a contract extension. The only issue is that we might have to wait longer for the other one as they have still not come to terms with Jesper Bratt. Bratt is a great young forward that they believe will be good for a long time. He might have not been as high of a priority as Blackwood because a good winger is less important than a very good goalie but he still needs to get done. In the meantime, be happy about Blackwood and hope he is as good as we know he can be for a long time.