7 New Jersey Devils Players Who Will Fight For Olympic Spots

Jack Hughes #6 of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes #6 of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of Canada (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Mackenzie Blackwood – Canada

The goalies for Team Canada will be the most interesting position battle in all of the Olympics. Who starts? Who are the two backups? Should Team Canada go for championship experience, or should they opt for the young future stars that could dominate now?

Mackenzie Blackwood would be the latter option. The 24 year old has been the Devils starter for a few years now, and he’s been wildly inconsistent. But there is a good reason for that. The first year Blackwood was a pro, he was pretty good for the Albany Devils. Then, when the team moved to Binghamton, Blackwood struggled mightily. That was, ironically, until he was an emergency call-up for the New Jersey Devils. Then he dominated.

Last season, Blackwood struggled again, but he said he had a very hard time returning to form after his COVID-19 diagnosis. That’s understandable, and he was dominant before that happened. He made it three games before getting sick, but he had a .947 save percentage in those three games.

This season, Blackwood has everything to prove. The Devils got a legitimate backup in Jonathan Bernier to take some pressure off Blackwood, but he could also be the starter if Blackwood does struggle. Blackwood is also trying to prove he deserves a spot on Team Canada. Right now, the best Canadian goalies are Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury. Both have been known to have a down season, so they could lose their spots as Canada’s starter and backup. Jordan Binnington is there two and has a Stanley Cup under his belt, but he hasn’t been that dominant starter since. Carter Hart is a bounce-back candidate, but he was really bad last year. There are other options, but there’s a clear top five and Blackwood is in it.