5. Ilya Samsonov
This one is banking on talent, and that’s scary for the New Jersey Devils right now. Ilya Samsonov’s numbers aren’t great, but he was the reason the Washington Capitals felt like they could easily let Braden Holtby, who won them their only Stanley Cup, go to the Vancouver Canucks. Then, he kind of fell apart. Last season, he finished the year with an .896 save percentage. He was consistently bad, with just one month over a .905 save percentage.
However, this is a former first-round pick who the Capitals felt at one time was their goalie of the future. That’s no longer the case, and Samsonov is going to the highest bidder since it seems like the Capitals are primed to get an upgrade. What is the highest bid?
He’s struggled a lot against high-danger chances. The Devils really want to find someone who can stop those chances since it’s a system under Lindy Ruff who prioritizes speed and offense.
Still, Samsonov is an interesting option. We’ve seen players get out of a city and turn it around. Samsonov is just 25 years old, but is bringing him in just signing you up for two Blackwoods? The Devils need to understand the risks here, but it might be an intriguing option to put him and Blackwood together until Bernier returns. Then, the Devils are basically buying two lottery tickets hoping to hit.