The Devils always take a goalie. It’s just how things go under Tom Fitzgerald. They often go after bigger names, like when they used a third-round pick on Nico Daws, or last season when they took Tyler Brennan in the fourth round just last year. After all this, Akira Schmid looks to be the player who leads the clubhouse to take the Devils place as the future in net.
Despite Schmid’s ceiling, the Devils are still tied to goalies Connor Hellebuyck and maybe John Gibson. This, at least a little, shows the Devils aren’t 100 percent in on winning with the current tandem of Schmid and Vitek Vanecek (and we guess Mackenzie Blackwood). This impacts the Devils pursuit of star goalies, but it might impact the draft strategy, too.
This year is a deep class for goalies. There might be 10 that get drafted in the first five rounds. However, Jacob Fowler is one of the best. Like Schmid two years ago, Fowler was named the USHL Goalie of the Year. The American goalie is about the minimum size you want from a goalie (6’2, 200 lbs), but he has a sick glove hand.
His rankings are all over the place. Some might consider this an overdraft, but Fowler could easily become the best goalie in this class. The Devils need to find their “star,” and Fowler has the skills to make it in the NHL. Would it be smart for the Devils to take a goalie with their first pick? If it’s the right pick, who cares.