4. Kevin Lankinen
Now this one gets interesting. Kevin Lankinen flew on the scene last season, and he was really good until it kind of fell apart at the end of the year. He had a .936 save percentage in the first month of his career and a .917 save percentage in his second month. It kind of fell off the rails in the last month of that shortened season, and then the Blackhawks traded for Marc-Andre Fleury, making Lankinen an instant backup.
The Blackhawks thought they were building a playoff team last season, but that clearly wasn’t the case. Despite trading for Fleury and Seth Jones, they were still one of the worst teams in their division.
The difference between Lankinen and the others on this list is age. One could think that Lankinen, at 27 years old, still has good years ahead of him. For the rest of this list, we’ve probably seen the best they have to offer. With Lankinen, he went from a Calder Trophy candidate to falling off the map. Can the Devils rebuild that? Is it worth it?
It’s definitely more worth it than Korpisalo and Koskinen. There isn’t a ton in terms of goaltending that makes sense for the Devils in terms of backup only, but there is something here. Lankinen would probably pick the Devils because of the opportunity. If he doesn’t work out, he’s not completely terrible. Then, the Devils would be able to try Bernier when he returns without feeling like they are in a bad position. This one feels like it might be worth the risk.