The New Jersey Devils need a goalie. There is a very good college goalie that’s about to be available for free. Is he the answer to the Devils’ problems in net?
The New Jersey Devils need a goalie. The sky is blue and the Rangers would be in a similar position minus Igor Shesterkin. I could keep making obvious assessments, but we’ll move on. Let’s hit that goalie situation. The Devils could play Mackenzie Blackwood at the end of this season. However, his heel injury and how it made him play this season has us asking questions about his future in net.
With Jonathan Bernier out with a major hip injury, something that might impact his second year with the franchise, Nico Daws doing his best but unable to give the Devils NHL-level goaltending on a consistent basis, and nothing else good coming from the players on the roster, the Devils number one priority this offseason is to sign a goalie.
What if we told you the Devils didn’t have to wait until the offseason? What if a goalie was becoming available now, and he cost nothing but an entry-level contract? That’s what’s happening with the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay.
McKay is playing in the National Championship Game against Denver. He’s in his fourth season with Minnesota State University. Every season there, he’s had at least a .924 save percentage. This past season, he posted a .934 save percentage. He’s been incredibly consistent for a team that faces some great teams.
Should New Jersey Devils target Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay?
McKay was named the best player in college hockey. He beat out Devils prospect Luke Hughes for the award, among many other great players.
Is this something the Devils should do? Would McKay even consider the Devils? There are a lot of reasons why a goalie might sign with the Devils. It’s possible a goalie might be the final piece to the puzzle. Is McKay that final piece?
He’s a little undersized, which has some people a little concerned. He’s around six feet tall, and that might be generous. However, it hasn’t stopped him from dominating the NCAA. Can he do it on the NHL level?
Here’s the catch, if the Devils take a chance on McKay, it will come at the expense of someone. It doesn’t have to be at the expense of everyone, but it can knock someone out that the Devils might want to give some time to. McKay is already 24 years old, so he pretty much has to be in the NHL or close right away. That takes a spot the Devils could use to get a legit goaltender with an NHL background. Or, it could force the Devils’ hand to trade away Mackenzie Blackwood. Or, it could force them to buy out Jonathan Bernier.
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The move really forces Tom Fitzgerald’s hand. That might not be a bad thing. The Devils need a goalie, and McKay has a track record of success without a track record of disappointment. Getting a good player is what matters for the Devils. The Devils need as many good goalies as possible, and if it eventually causes a logjam then so be it.