New Jersey Devils: Scott Wedgewood Deserves An Extension

New Jersey Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood (41): (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood (41): (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils have plenty surprises this season. Miles Wood leading the team in goals is definitely a surprise. Janne Kuokkanen and Yegor Sharangovich have both been pleasant surprises as rookie scorers. Dmitry Kulikov has been better than expected. However, the number one surprise on this Devils team is Scott Wedgewood.

The Devils were hit with a huge surprise in training camp when their biggest free agent signing suddenly retired. Corey Crawford just didn’t want to move forward with his new team despite signing a two-year, $7.8 million contract. It left the Devils stunned and desperate to find another goalie option. They already had Scott Wedgewood, but he was always supposed to be a third option who mostly spent time as an emergency backup.

The Devils ended up putting in waiver claims for Aaron Dell and Eric Comrie. They eventually lost Comrie after he won his only start for the franchise. The Winnipeg Jets re-claimed him just to send him to the minors. Dell is still on the roster, and the Devils are probably refusing to put him on waivers in case he’s worth something at the trade deadline.

Wedgewood was always supposed to be the third option, even when the second option wasn’t in house. Well, Wedgewood proved that he was the best option to be Mackenzie Blackwood‘s backup.

This came up on this week’s Let’s Go Devils Podcast, when Robert Aitkan talked about’s Devils grades. They graded one player with a full “A”. That was Wedgewood.

When looking at his stats, it’s not hard to see why Wedgewood deserves an A. He has a 4.92 GSAA, which is 11th in all of the NHL. He’s percentage points behind Linus Ullmark to break into the top ten according to Natural Stat Trick. He’s been phenomenal in net for the Devils. Only four goalies in the league have a better high-danger goals saved above average. Wedgewood has stood on his head in the ten games he’s been in net.

The Devils should absolutely re-sign Wedgewood this offseason. He’s a good backup for now until Gilles Senn or Nico Daws (or another goalie prospect) is NHL ready. He’ll be eligible for the expansion draft, but the Seattle Kraken will have a lot of options to take other players from the Devils who make more sense for their franchise. Wedgewood is relatively young, and he can still be a contributor to this team in the future.

If the Devils gave Wedgewood a two-year deal at a modest raise (let’s say $1.5 million AAV), then he’d be a really good option behind Blackwood. There’s no reason he can’t continue to be just as good for the next two seasons. He’s always been skilled. Something has held him back from performing at the highest level. That doesn’t exist in New Jersey, and he will be able to continue his career where it began.