New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Who Could Surprisingly Make Roster

Simon Nemec #5 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)
Simon Nemec #5 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /
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Erik Kallgren
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Erik Kallgren (50): Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Erik Kallgren

Of all the players on the list, you might be surprised to learn this is the most likely. The Devils made it clear they want Akira Schmid to get starters reps. Maybe he can come in and take the net away from Vitek Vanecek, but that seems premature in the preseason. It would make more sense to have Vanecek start in the pros and Schmid start in the minors.

That leaves the Devils in a pickle. They traded Mackenzie Blackwood to the San Jose Sharks, and Nico Daws will miss the beginning of the season with a reported hip injury. That leaves the Devils without a lot of goalie options.

The Devils signed Erik Kallgren. After a chance to make a stab with the Toronto Maple Leafs two years ago, he was left in the AHL last season. With the Marlies, he just had an .883 save percentage. He as .898 as an injury replacement last season in the NHL, but his numbers aren’t exactly a confidence boost.

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Kallgren likely chose the Devils because he’s one injury away from real NHL minutes. This reality that Kallgren might be the main backup could show the Devils aren’t done adding at goalie. Only time will tell.