In yet another season where we’ll likely see the New Jersey Devils finish in the bottom five of the NHL, there have been more positives in comparison to recent seasons. Jack Hughes has emerged as a potential future Hart trophy winner, scoring unlike he has in previous seasons, and some young defensemen have really begun to establish themselves.
Despite all these success stories, something really holding the team back has been their lack of efficiency at the goaltending position. New Jersey has used a grand total of seven goaltenders throughout the course of the regular season. None of them are likely going to be the long-time starter unless something changes. With every Devils fan looking forward to what is likely to be another eventful offseason, here are three goaltenders the Devils should look to sign.
1) Vitek Vanecek
With the Devils having a large amount of money available to be spent this offseason, it would without a doubt be in their best interest to throw a large portion of that money at Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek.
The 26-year-old recorded a 2.60 goals-against average along with a save percentage of .910. While those numbers aren’t necessarily at the top of the pack, none of the seven Devils’ netminders who have seen the ice have stats that come close to that. The sophomore goalie would improve the Devils’ chances to be competitive instrumentally.
Additionally, it’s rare in today’s NHL to find a goalie as young as Vanecek with the UFA label. With New Jersey’s roster being the youngest in the league in terms of average age, the Czechia native will help continue the trend of youth that Devils management is trying to establish.
How does he benefit the Devils?
In comparison to a lot of the other free-agent goalies, Vanecek is still developing and has by far the least amount of NHL experience of the bunch. With the window New Jersey has with studs like Hamilton, the aforementioned Hughes, Hischier, etc. having a goaltender with plenty of career length left might be in the best interest of the Devils.
Vanecek could without a doubt be one of the more sought out goalies in this Summer’s sweepstakes and this team definitely has the finances to make it happen. In the end, if we do end up seeing Vanecek in Devils red rather than Capitals red come 2022-2023, it will be an instant improvement in comparison to where New Jersey is currently by quite a bit.