This one is a weird one since we still haven’t seen Andrew Hammond yet, but the Devils traded prospect Nate Schnarr for him, so they have plans to get him in the lineup. He’s still recovering from an injury, but the expectation is he’ll get a majority of the starts down the stretch with Nico Daws going back to the AHL for their stretch run.
Hammond is a player who’s held onto the NHL dream despite an up-and-down career. He had that miraculous run with the Ottawa Senators to save their season, but that was all the way back in 2015. He hasn’t hit those peaks since then (but it’s hard to hit a .941 save percentage at any point). Since then, he’s been part of the Avalanche pipeline, then the Wild, then on to the Buffalo Sabres through Rochester, then back to Iowa to represent the Wild, then he was in Montreal’s system which is when he was traded to New Jersey.
Hammond is looking to prove he deserves at least a third-goalie position with a team next season. He’s going to get a chance to prove he can at least be an average goalie on the NHL level. Jon Gillies will be his backup, so average will be welcomed by the coaching staff.
It’s going to be an uphill battle, as the Devils are just going through the motions and Hammond hasn’t been a regular in the NHL in years. Can he at least let the Devils be competitive on a nightly basis? Only time will tell.